Today's Lectionary Text
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying, “My servant Moses is dead. Now proceed to cross the Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the Israelites. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and the Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, to the Great Sea in the west shall be your territory. No one shall be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous; for you shall put this people in possession of the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to act in accordance with all the law that my servant Moses commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you may be successful wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful. I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
This passage is a story of calling. Moses has died and prior to his death he announces, in front of all the Israelites, that Joshua will continue in his stead. The beginning of Joshua is a reminder that Moses is gone and quickly blossoms into Joshua’s commissioning by God.
Of course God knew the enormity of the task that was before Joshua, and showers him with reminders of who he is, whose he is, and promises of faithfulness and “with”ness. God tells Joshua three times, "be strong and courageous.” The tasks will not be easy, but I am with you always. Wherever you go, I will be there, also. To have success, God instructs Joshua that he needs to be obedient, meditate on the scriptures, be strong and courageous, and remember that he’s not alone.
I often come to these words when I’m feeling less than strong and courageous--the words give me comfort and bolster my faith. God is not only calling Joshua -- He’s calling you and me, too! The next thing God is calling us to may not always be easy. Often that next step is scary and can be doubt inducing. I’m definitely guilty of paralyzing self-doubt. In these moments, I challenge you (and me, too!) to be strong and courageous. To be confident in God’s presence, meditate on the scriptures, and never forget that God is beside us every step of the way.
Take some time today to reflect on where God is calling you -- perhaps use “Be strong and courageous” as a breath prayer.
Admin. Assistant to BOOM Registrar and
Clergy Recruitment and Development Coordinator
Prayer for Reflection
Loving One, when we feel overwhelmed with what’s next, remind us that you are always with us. May we lean on you and always be strong and courageous. Amen.
This Week's Lectionary
This Week's Liturgical Color