Sunday, August 9, 2015

Remember where you came from

 Daily reading: Joshua 3:7-4:7
August 9, 2015

Focus scripture: But at that moment the water of the Jordan coming downstream stood still.  It rose up as a single heap very far off, just below Adam, which is the city next to Zarethan.  The water going down the desert seas (that is, the Dead Sea) was cut off completely.  The people crossed opposite Jericho.  Joshua 3:16
The scripture today calls us to remember where we have come from.  Who we are today is greatly influenced by where we have come from, the type of home we grew up in, the sort of friends we call our own, the education we received, the choices we made and continue to make each day, and the people we surround ourselves with.  The struggles and hardships we have faced, the great joys that bring us happiness all play a role in who we are today.  Today’s scripture not only calls us to remember and look back but to look forward and acknowledge that God does call us into tomorrow.  We are reminded that often times we either do not see the completion of a ministry we have started or we participate in a ministry that someone else has started.

That is the case with the scripture today.  It is not just a repeat of the Red Sea crossing.  When the Israelites crossed the Red Sea they were being chased by the Egyptian army, Moses lifted his staff and the sea parted and the people hurried to the other side.  Moses has died and now the people are led by Joshua.  At the bank of the Jordan River, the Priests entered the river and the water flowing from above stood still and the water flowing toward the sea was totally cut off.  

The Priests stopped in the middle of the dry river bed, holding the Ark of the Covenant, while all the people participated in a solemn processional across the river.  This crossing marked a transition in their lives for they had finally entered their homeland.  Then one man from each tribe took a stone from the river bed so that they would have something permanent to remember that day by.  

For on this day the story of their parents crossing the parted waters became alive for them.  No longer was the miraculous crossing a story left to their imagination, it was now part of their own experience and reality.

There is a time in all of our lives when stories cease to be second hand and faith stories become a report of our own experience and convictions.  There is a time when the wisdom of our parents or elders becomes alive because we have too experience life in a similar fashion.

The scripture begs the question, how is God calling you to move forward into the uncertain future grounded in the stories of the past?  When we step out in faith we forever know whose we are.  God can and does reveal the unexpected in our lives, bringing us into God’s realm.  Perhaps you are being called to offer words of prayer for your friends or family, to witness your faith to others through words or actions.  Are there stories of God’s presence in your life that you can share with others outside of our church family?

Prayer:  God I seek your presence today.  Amen.

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