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with staff in hand

In my daily Bible reading I was struck with the way the first Passover was observed, and what became the pattern to be followed:

"In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD's Passover." (Exodus 12:11 ESV)

Normally, it's not a good thing to eat in haste (we always tell our kids). We expect our dinner guests to remove coats and hats. Not here. Here there is an urgency, a crisis, a need to leave one dominion and hasten quickly to another. I came across this statement by Lloyd-Jones on his sermon series from the book of Acts, where he is describing the early church...

Christians have the same hope set before them. They say, "We are but strangers and pilgrims in this world. We used to think we had settled down in it, and we tried our best to do so, and we thought of nothing but this life and this world." No longer. Christians are people who always know they strangers, soujourners, travelers. They are on the road to eternity, to reality, to life that is life indeed, to glory everlasting! They have their eyes fixed on that, and all who are looking in the same direction inevitably come together-- they are traveling together. (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Authentic Christianity, p. 100)

The Passover pattern (of redemption + movement + community) is obviously not just for the OT. Here's a NT cross-reference:

These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. (Hebrews 11:13-16 ESV)
This is the great story line behind Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress. Where's my allegiance, my citizenship? Am I on the exodus path, or am I looking for an easy route? Am I making progress, or am I stuck? Am I ready for action, or am I sleeping in? Am I traveling lightly, or am I settling down? Am I facing conflict, or avoiding it?


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