Sometime ago I came upon this beautiful metaphor.

“Just as a white summer cloud,  in harmony with heaven and earth freely floats in the blue sky from horizon to horizon, following the breath of the atmosphere  – in the same way the pilgrim abandons himself to the greater life that wells up from the depths of his being and the universality of a greater life.”

I’ve pondered those lines over many years, especially living where I do, because here in the South West tip of Cornwall we have the most spectacular cloud formations.

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Clouds play a very significant roll in the Bible. We have  only to think of the wilderness wanderings – the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night leading the children of Israel. Then there is Moses who whenever he enters the tent of meeting, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent and the Lord would speak with Moses. There is the passage in Exodus 19 where the Lord said to Moses,”Behold I shall come to you in a thick Cloud, in order that that the people may hear when I speak with you.”

We are told in the same chapter “So it came about on the third day, when it was morning that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound…Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the Lord descended upon it in fire.

The cloud theme is continued in the New Testament. The transfiguration is one such example.

“Then a cloud formed, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, ‘this s my Beloved Son, listen to Him'” Mark 9:7.

Acts 1: 9 tells us of the last appearance of Jesus after his resurrection.

“And after he had said these things, He was lifted up whilst they were looking on, and a cloud received him out of sight.

In both the Old and New Testaments the Cloud is a significant symbol of the Lord’s presence, of God. We can also apply the symbol of the cloud as representing the Holy Spirit in our own lives.

As Christians the cloud may be viewed as the creative power of the mind under the power of the Holy Spirit.

“Just as a white summer cloud,  in harmony with heaven and earth freely floats in the blue sky from horizon to horizon, following the breath of the atmosphere  – in the same way the pilgrim abandons himself to the greater life that wells up from the depths of his being and the universality of a greater life.” And that Greater Life is the Life of Christ.

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