Today in the Office of Readings we arrive at the Israelites crossing the Red Sea. As I was praying through the reading this time around I was struck especially by the indicators of time. The crossing itself was made at night. I think that's something we don't always remember; depictions of the event don't always help. Then, at the last watch just before dawn, the presence of God throws Pharaoh's army into a panic and their chariot wheels get clogged and mired. Then, at dawn, at God's command, Moses stretches his hand over the sea and the waters cover and drown the army.
As I was thinking about this, I thought that perhaps our spiritual condition is finding ourselves in that moment just before dawn. Our salvation has been accomplished; by our baptism we have passed through the water and arrived at the beginning our journey to the Promised Land. The pursuing army of Pharaoh, mired in the mud and in a panic, can no longer get to us or hurt us. But the chariots and charioteers are still there, probably loud and certainly ferocious. We can still hear their war cries, and we know they want to kill us. And sometimes in our lingering fear and distracted by the noise, we fall into doubts and sin despite the salvation we have received.
We stand, saved but sometimes still scared, as we await the full dawn of the Resurrection.