A baby cannot bypass the womb. The children of Adam and Eve cannot bypass the Valley of Tears.
After a period of gestation in the Valley of Tears, we are born again into the promised land, the land of milk and honey .
There is no shortcut by which we can avoid the Valley of Tears. It is not a Maginot Line that we can go around. There is no bridge over it or tunnel under it. We must pass through it. As meat passes through a grinder, we pass through it. As grist passes through a mill, we pass through it. No exceptions. However, there is an escape route through it. Furthermore, the Church has the map and knows the way.
The Valley of Tears is on fire. It is burning down. Meanwhile, we are asleep in our beds blissfully unaware of our dire predicament. Amid the smoke and the flames, our Church bells are ringing. They sound a fire alarm. The Holy Spirit is ringing the bells to wake us up from our slumber. He is urging us to escape from the smoke and flee from the flames. Do you appreciate the exigency of your situation?
Have you not yet smelt the smoke and felt the flames?
The Holy Spirit is tugging at our souls. The curious are following the tug back to its source. Along the way, the curious are exploring the mystery, majesty and magnificence of God.
Are you not curious?
To the life boats! To the life boats! Abandon ship! Abandon ship! Godlessness is a sinking ship . We are its passengers. The Church is its crew. God gave the Church a rescue mission. However, the rescue mission that God gave the Church is not to save the ship. The rescue mission that God gave the Church is to save the passengers.
God refuses to transform the Valley of Tears into a kinder, gentler and more hospitable place for godless people to live. God wants to transform godless people into people of God .
It is not safe to put roots down into the toxic soil of the Valley of Tears. Far better to be pilgrims passing through it than settlers roosting in it.
The new exodus, served by the new Moses, the Church, is making its escape through the Valley of Tears from slavery under the yoke of Pharaoh to freedom with God and his Holy Family in the promised land, the land of milk and honey . The Church is the servant of the escape; God is its master.
The Performance Now Taking Place on the Stage of Life
The escape of the new exodus through the Valley of Tears from slavery under the yoke of Pharoah to freedom with God and his Holy Family in the promised land is now being performed on the stage of life. Whether we like it or not, we are characters in it. Our role is to escape through it.
Everything revolves around the Escape. Anchor your understanding of the purpose of life here on earth to our dire predicament in the Valley of Tears and the Escape of the New Exodus therefrom.
The job of the Church is to facilitate the escape not to frustrate it, filter it or foul it up .
The escape from godlessness to paradise is primary. Nothing else matters. Everything else is secondary. Anything that interferes is suspect .
The Church is in charge of participation in the New Exodus. God is in charge of transformation. The Church goes off the rails when it tries to do God's work.
Progress on the escape route through the Valley of Tears is made only when the New Exodus is exposed to the testimony of witnesses to the truth. We need witnesses to the truth. Kings to rule us - not so much.
The Church is the Tour Guide
As the curious are making their escape through the Valley of Tears, the Church, when functioning properly, tries not to be a king who rules us but a tour guide who points out the sights to see along the way. Still in business after more than two thousand years , its experience has given it great confidence - and should inspire confidence in us as well - that it knows a thing or two about the escape of the new exodus through the Valley of Tears.
Christianity is a religion that is involved with our escape through the Valley of Tears from slavery under the yoke of Pharaoh to freedom with God and his Holy Family in the promised land, the land of milk and honey . We become Christians as we make our escape - as we take part in close encounters with the living God at the holy places that define the escape route. God transforms us. We do not transform ourselves. The Church does not transform us. Only God transforms us and he does so at the holy places. The Church is in charge of participation in the escape. God is in charge of transformation of the participants. Therefore, get thee to the holy places. Run to them. Make haste! At the holy places, sinners are transformed into saints.
To rescue the children of Adam and Eve from the sour truth of the Valley of Tears, God built an escape route through the Valley of Tears , defined the escape route with holy places, made a map of them, established a Church, entrusted the map to the Church and gave the Church the job of serving the new exodus as the new Moses.The Church has the map and knows the way .The job of the Church is to facilitate the escape not to frustrate it, filter it or foul it up . Note: Before the Church, God relied on the sour truth of the Valley of Tears to rescue us - to make sure we kept the gift of paradise when God delivers it to us. With the advent of Jesus, God offers us an alternative to the sour truth. God offers us the sweet truth to rescue us as well. The sour truth pushes us to the exit of godlessness. The sweet truth pulls us to the entrance of paradise. The truth pushes us and pulls us.