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Friday, July 8, 2016

Joshua/Jesus: Courage in the face of Chaos

Deuteronomy 31:7-13, 24-32:4; Romans 10:1-13; Matthew 24:15-31

Moses told Joshua (Jesus in Greek)
"Be strong and of good courage; for you shall go with this people into the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them; and you shall put them in possession of it. It is the Lord who goes before you; He will be with you, He will not fail or forsake you; do not fear or be dismayed."

Chaos is ever gnawing at the ropes of the tent of order. God's creation is in flux globally and locally. "Law and order" go together. Moses, the Law Receiver and Law Giver, has reminded the Children of Israel that their God is faithful, but that so they must also be. The Law is the tent which makes life possible.

Paul's take on the Law in Romans seems to negate the Law completely (contrasting it to faith), but that is too large to address here. Suffice to say that Paul says many other things which includes a reminder that we are not freed from the Law to sin. And Jesus in Matthew speaks of the coming day when the world "disintegrates" (whether the reference is the pending fall of Jerusalem or the end of the world). It seems chaos is always gnawing at the ropes...

Chaos gnaws away at the tent ropes and the collapses around us are a reminder that order is always at risk. Our society, like Jesus' society, can be swept away (by external or internal means) in the blink of an eye. Some day it will. All we know and hold dear will be turned upside down eventually.

Joshua (Jesus in Greek) is commanded to go forth where God would have him go and do what God would have him do. So shall we also go forth if we know what is best for us. Courage and trust sustain us because that is how the world works. It is a law of life that courage and trust are needed to accomplish anything worth doing. It is also a law of life that God is with us, that He does not fail us or leave us in the lurch, that God goes before us and behind us. Whatever else is going on in the world around, God is with us...

Jesus Lord, lead us into the true land of promise. Jesus Lord, lead us into the place of order and law. Jesus bring us into your Kingdom! Save us from our sins and the sins of others. Save us from the sins of our neighbors and the sins of our government. Save us from ourselves. Save us.
Holy Spirit fill us with courage and trust on the way.
Holy Three, faithful Three, thank you for being with us and going before us. amen


  1. read this from the Washington post after I wrote my MP reflection.
    The wording caught my attention

    DALLAS — At least five Dallas police officers were killed and seven others wounded Thursday evening as a protest over recent police shootings was interrupted by chaos.


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