Archive for the ‘Deuteronomy’ Category

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 13, 2011

Frist Presbyterian Church of Yellow Springs, OH
Rev. Joe hinds

Deuteronomy 30:15-20

This is life for you

  1. Way In

    Rev. Will Willimon (UMC Bishop in AL) tell this story from when he was Dean of the Chapel at Duke Univ. in NC)

    Call from an angry parent

    Daughter was bound for graduate school

    But told her father she was about to (as he put it) “throw it all away”

    To go do mission work with Presbyterians in Haiti

    “This is absurd”

    “BS degree in Engineering, and going to dig ditches in Haiti”

    Dr. Willimon responded

    I bet she didn’t get much training for that in the Engineering Dept. here, but I bet she will get the hang of ditch-digging in a few months

    Father not amused

    Concerned that some Christian commitment was getting in the way of his daughter’s career

    Dr. W. suggested that it was the well-meaning parents who started this ball rolling

    They had her baptized, read Bible stories to her

    They took her to the Presbyterian Church in their hometown

    Sent her to Sunday School, VBS, and youth group

    “You introduced her to Jesus, not me,” said Dr. W.

    Father replied

    “Yes, but all we ever wanted her to be was a Presbyterian”

    Church can be dangerous, following Jesus can be dangerous

    Because sometimes…if we’re not careful…

    Following Jesus can change our life – reorient our thinking

    And before you know it …

    We’re “throwing it all away” to go spread the love of God

    By digging ditches in Haiti

    Giving food away for free at the food pantry

    Tie-dying socks to provide medical care in Haiti

    Opening our doors to the community

    Sharing our spacious building with our neighbors

    “Throwing it away?”

    No. We know differently

    Because that is what we do.

    These things are our discipleship

    That is what we do because we have chosen to follow God’s word

    That is life for us

  2. Tell The Story


    Moses speaking to the Hebrew people

    As they are preparing to occupy the Promised Land

    During their desert wanderings he has taught them many things

    Final phase of Moses’ life

    Today’s reading is the end of Deut., chapt. 30

    Chapt. 31

    Moses told the people that he would not cross over the Jordan with them

    Moses appointed Joshua, in the sight of all of Israel

    “You are the one who will go with this people into the (Promised Land).”

    Then, in Chapt, 32

    Moses recites a song of God’s faithfulness and covenant

    Blessed the people in chapt. 33

    And in chapt. 34, Moses died

    And Joshua was full of the Spirit of God

    To lead the chosen people the rest of the way

    Because Moses had laid his hands upon him

    Chapt. 30 begins with Moses saying to the Israelites

    … if you return to the Lord your God

    From such as their idolatry (remember the golden calf?)

    And you and your children obey God …

    With all your heart and with all your soul

    Then the Lord will bring you into the land that your ancestors

    Surely this command is not too hard for you, nor is it very far from you

    No, the word is very near to you

    It is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe

    This is where today’s reading begins, the one that Perry shared with us

    I have set before you life and prosperity, death and adversity

    If you obey the commandments

    Love the Lord your God

    Walk in God’s ways

    Observe God’s commandments

    Then you shall live …

    And become numerous

    The Lord your God will bless you

    But if you turn away

    And do not hear, and are led astray to bow before other gods

    Then you shall perish

    You shall not live long in the land I have promised

    So, with heaven and earth (all of creation) as witnesses …

    I have set before you a choice

    Life and death – blessings and curses

    Choose life

    So that you … and your descendants may live

    (and what is life?)

    Love the Lord your God

    Which is to say, Obey the Lord your God

    Hold fast to the Lord your God

    For that means life to you

    And length of days

    So that you may live in the land that God swore to your ancestors

  3. So What?

    Love the Lord your God – for that is life to you

    Obey the Lord your God

    And what does the Lord require? (from 2 weeks ago)

    Do justice. Love kindness. Walk humbly with your God.

    God wants us to choose life.

    And as we come together, in the shared life and ministry of the Body of Christ …

    God wants the church of Jesus Christ to choose life

    To love the Lord our God, and follow God’s ways

    For that is life to us

    As the church – the FPC of YSO, we choose life – who wouldn’t

    but we don’t have to look far to find threats to that life

    some of the same threats before other churches

    Building problems

    Financial worries

    Membership concerns

    But remember what Moses said

    You have before you life and death – blessing and curse

    Choose life

    Life together has challenges

    Someone told the story at Presbytery yesterday of a couple …

    Came to the pastor for marriage counseling

    After many years of bickering and fighting

    They were ready to move on or move out

    The couple put it to a vote. Shall we stay married?

    One “No” vote, one abstained

    Motion failed

    That’s no choice

    You’ve heard of churches rent apart by various things

    I heard of one that lamented over not having more families with children around

    But there was griping when kids came and they were noisy and messy

    … where they yearned for new members

    But were suspicious of new people trying unfamiliar things

    … where somebody stopped coming to church when …

    communion was served differently

    they stopped using the Advent wreath their grandmother made

    This is not life together – this is not life to us

    Deciding based on ego and entitlement is not life

    But when the church follows God, there is life

    When we choose not to follow ego and entitlement – we choose life

    When we choose to listen for the will of God – we choose life

    When our mission and vision have God’s word and will at the foundation – that is life for us

    I have been reading a book that I am thinking of recommending us to read together – chapter on “Choosing Life Over Death”

    Jürgen Moltmann quote

    “Where Jesus is, there is life.

    There is abundant life, vigorous life, loved life and eternal life.

    There is life before death.

    I find it deeply disturbing and unsettling

    when I think about how we have become accustomed to death –

    to the death of the soul, to death on the street, to death through violence

    to death-before-life”

    The author continues, “to this list I’m compelled to add how disturbed and unsettled I feel whenever I think about how accustomed we have become to the death of the church.”

    And I have seen, in these last few weeks

    Bright-eyed people in this church

    People who are committed to this church

    Not just as a beautiful building in the heart of YSO (and it is!)

    But as an expression of the Body of Christ in the community

    I heard somebody say that one of the biggest concerns here is survival

    Some may understand that as an expression of desperation

    I understand that as an expression of commitment

    I understand that as saying “we have something here worth preserving”

    And I stand before you today …

    In front of evidence of that very sentiment (construction)

    This is worth preserving

    This is worth living

    This is worth carrying on

    And I don’t mean just the building

    I’m talking about our life together as the church – the Body of Christ

    Our people here are worth life

    Our children and youth are worth life

    Our seniors, many of you life-long, or long-standing members – you are worth life

    Families and friends, single and married

    The found and the searching

    Our diversity

    We don’t all look the same

    Short hair, long hair

    Robes, dresses, and pants

    Women and men

    Caucasian, people of color

    We – are – worth – life

    Paul said it to the church at Corinth

    For we are God’s servants, working together

    You are God’s field, God’s building

    And you have chosen life

    You have been through difficult times

    You have had disappointments

    Some in the congregation

    Some from the presbytery

    Some from other places, maybe. I don’t know.

    But you have chosen life

    You have persevered through bureaucratic frustrations

    I don’t even know all of them

    But I know that you decided…

    In the year of our Lord 2011

    To extend a call to me as your pastor

    Maybe I wasn’t even your first choice

    But you did what you had to do with the system you had to work within

    Maybe, as Fannie Lou Hamer said, you were just “sick and tired of being sick and tired”

    And you took a risk – a financial risk

    And I don’t think you called me to lead you to the death of this church

    You have chosen life

    Now we are called to take this life..

    … this living and breathing Body of Christ

    … and with a sense of pride and commitment

    Continue the legacy of mission and outreach

    Build up one another

    To pray that the Lord will

    Build us up where we’re torn down

    And strengthen us where we’re weak

    And we will be the expression of Progressive and relevant Christian faith

    In this community – and beyond

    And whatever else happens, we will do our best to be faithful

    To follow God

    To love God

    And hold fast to God

    Because THAT means life to us

    So let it be with us. Amen.


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Deuteronomy 26:1-11

1. Way In

Things that spark our memory – for me, smells and tastes are powerful


mimeo paper – remember that smell? – puts me back in 6th grade

perfume and after-shave

Charlie perfume – Jr. High dance

Aramis, my father’s after-shave

Clubman Talcum Powder, Friendly 8 barbershop in BHM


movies in the summer when I was a kid, we got in with bottle caps and ends of Milk Dud boxes

Adolphus made it in a big soup pot on movie night at 910


taste & book combo. – Fun With Dick and Jane

reminds me of learning to read at Jackson Academy, and reminds me of rock candy

mixed memory

good – still love to read

bad – still hate rock candy

taste of peanut butter on a Ritz cracker always makes me feel better

Coke and peanuts

Memory cues

slightest sensation of one of those smells or tastes puts me right back to another place

those memories come from my story/history

my grandmothers presided over the repository of our family’s stories

I remember me and my sisters, asking them to tell us the stories of our parents – over and over

“tell us about the time Daddy got a Mohawk haircut”

“tell us about Momma learning to drive in the schoolyard and getting the car stuck up the side of a tree”

Stories, read over the life of a person carry the memories and lessons of our culture.

We remember these stories from books, and we pass them along to others.

Stories, told over the generations of a family carry the memories and histories of where we come from.

We remember these stories and pass them along

Does your Thanksgiving and holiday tradition bring out family stories?

I hope so

do the wonderful tastes and smells remind you of times before?

or do you have other memory cues?

favorite memories and stories

maybe something new

maybe this is the year for Turducken

what is it that makes you remember?

and when you settle in to recall the best days, what do you remember?

what do you see? who do you see?

Take time to remember – then to give thanks

for all of God’s good gifts of grace and love

Remember and give thanks

2. Tell the Story

Today’s reading from Deuteronomy is a reminder to Israel as they prepare to enter into the land that God has provided for the nation.

a call for them to remember – to stir up rich and powerful memories of who they are and where they came from.

like the memory cues I mentioned before

Deut. reminds us of the power of memory in worship

liturgy “the work of the people”

not simply for going through the motions, but for evoking the memory of God’s might acts through the liturgy of wrship

The history of Israel is given in liturgical form; words are given to them as well as concrete acts.

Through liturgical acts, the community of faith carries the memory of God’s mighty acts and brings to mind God’s continuing activity in their lives.

The Eucharist – sacrament of the Lord’s Supper

reminds us of God’s saving love in Jesus Christ

power of the memory of the meal – the Last Supper

the memory of the bread God gave the people in the wilderness

the very word, eucharist, comes from the Greek word for “thanksgiving”

that’s why you will also see the Eucharistic prayer called the Great Thanksgiving

a liturgy of gratitude for the gift of God’s grace

The stories in Deuteronomy are about God hearing the cries of Israel in Egyptian slavery – to them, it was not so long ago

When God delivered the people with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm with a display of power, and signs and wonders.

And these these stories are dramatic enough to have remained in the memory of the people for a long, long time.

The history of Israel is the foundation of the life and identity of the people that it needs to be repeated again and again.

That’s why in the 6th chapter of Deuteronomy, the community of faith receives instruction from God to recite the traditions of Israel “to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise.” (6:7)

do it all the time, and teach your children to remember and do the same

Today’s reading from Deuteronomy is given in the form of liturgy, meant for communal response in worship.

In Deuteronomy, God gave these words to Israel to prepare them to enter into the Promised Land.

Today’s text includes a liturgical creed for the gathered congregation to say, not the priest, but the congregation.

These words were given to the people of Israel call to the memory of the individual worshiper who they were as people of God, and to acknowledge the presence of God in their lives.

This text is a liturgical exercise of worship, not just sounds made as words are read from the page or memorized words repeated at a particular part of the service.

These words are the foundation of the history and life of Israel, and the words are given as a liturgy of remembering and response.

Listen for the words of remembering:

“Today I declare to the Lord that I have come into the land that the Lord swore to our ancestors to give us.”

These are words of remembering that the source of the Promised Land is YHWH Elohim – the Lord your God.

These are words of remembering God’s providence.

Then the individual worshiper says, “My ancestor was a wandering Aramean.” Some of your translations may render this word as “Syrian,” and the liturgy continues, “He went down to Egypt and lived there as an alien … and became a great nation … When the Egyptians treated us harshly … we cried to the Lord … who heard our voices … and our oppression. The Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm … and he brought us to this place … and gave us this and flowing with milk and honey.”

These are words of remembering; in a few sentences the worshiper has recited Israel’s history.

Beginning with the wandering Aramean, Jacob, and continuing through the settlement in the Promised Land.

These are words of remembering that emphasize God’s grace and power.

These are words of remembering that God heard Israel’s cries, and saved them from danger and oppression in an alien land.

These are words of remembering the history of the people, and words through which the people understand their identity.

Today’s text is an act of liturgy in which the worshipping Israelite remembers who they are and where they come from.

3. So What?

Like the people of Israel, the Christian faith we practice is based on the collective memory of the people.

Our tradition of faith

Our faith is rooted in the saving love of God in Jesus Christ, and in God’s continuing promise of grace.

Our worship is a liturgy of remembering who we are and where we come from.

Our identity is in the story of the Christian faith, both as the community of faith and as individuals.

And even though God’s dramatic acts in history as recorded in scripture are powerful enough to live in memory alone, we come back to this book [indicating Bible].

We leave this book out, with the pages open [indicating Bible on table],

and we open it up and read it day after day. Because it matters.

What’s in this book matters,

and it is critical for us as children of God to remember the mighty acts and steadfast love of God.

It is our liturgy, the work of the people, to remember.

And not only to remember, but to respond.

To act like people who God has saved when we couldn’t save ourselves.

And the proper response to God is gratitude, worship, and celebration.

During Advent we remember what God has done in Jesus Christ.

preparations for his coming, the miracle of his birth, and we look ahead to the significance of his days among the people …

As we prepare ourselves for the glorious Christmas celebration, may we also reflect on our response –

what we should do with our lives, our individual life and our communal life as a church.

May this Advent be a time of celebrating the history of this church, and of praying and dreaming about the new thing God is doing here…

Out of your history and memory of what God has done in your life, where is God calling you today?

What difference has God made in your life?

What memories does Thanksgiving stir for you and your family?

What are you thankful for?

What new thing is God calling you to in this community God is making?

Let us do our best to live into our response.

Remember the Lord your God, and respond in gratitude, worship, and celebration.

So may it be with us. Amen

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Deuteronomy 6:1 Now this is the commandment– the statutes and the ordinances– that the LORD your God charged me to teach you to observe in the land that you are about to cross into and occupy,

2 Corinthians 5:17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

Way In

What has given you life this summer? filled you?

reflect on what ppl said earlier today

Worship at Tawawa Park today

time for

hobbies, travel, family

show my “shares”; map, book, music, etc. as examples of what I did this summer

ask cong. to tell about theirs

different pace of life. slower?

maybe because of the heat

little more laid back

As you know, all that’s about to change (signs that summer’s over)

school busses are rolling

pool is closed

temperature is falling (some days)

ac not running on “high” just to keep the car bearable inside

it’s worship in the park!

back to 10:30

Tell The Story


preparing to enter

how to thrive and live in the land

2 Corinthians

new creation

re-created — made new, renewed

So What?

Value of re-creation


spiritual renewal

a new creation in Jesus Christ

physical renewal

rested, ready for the next big thing

there’s something different about the way we feel

called as disciples

to do good

not just because it’s the right thing to do

or it makes us feel good about ourselves

but it’s our response to God’s call

“your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven”

sharing what we have

living in community

Awareness of re-entry

in Deut. God is preparing the Israelites for entry into Canaan

“the land of promise”

place they have been travelling to for 40 years (wandering)

reminding them of the statues and ordinances (Law of Moses)

so they will live long in the land

Aware today of our location

in the beauty of God’s creation

this beautiful spot outdoors

not our usual Sunday meeting place

good to get away, something different

continue summer’s renewal, recreation

prepare for our re-entry into the church building next Sunday

back to our usual setting

but we have the opportunity to experience renewal

like reading a familiar Bible verse as if for the first time

i.e. The Lord’s Prayer

Notice our re-entry into the church next week as if the 1st time

what’s it like, what do we notice?

what do we appreciate about our heritage, our traditions?

Is there something different we want to do?

what does re-entry teach us about things we take for granted?

But that’s next week

something for us to think about

for today let us take a chance to appreciate

the beauty of God’s creation

the warmth of good fellowship

the deliciousness of good food

and how good it is to worship, sing and pray together

free-style here about re-creation, re-newal, new beginnings, etc.

So may it be, Amen

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Deuteronomy 34:1-12

Seeing and not crossing over


I.        Way In

A.      MLK speech

1.      declamation assignment in Public Speaking class, UAB

a.      subject of my choice

b.      first thought:  what am I going to learn from memorizing a speech?

c.       chose a selection of a speech by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

i.        Sanitation Workers in Memphis, TN

ii.      delivered on April 3, 1968

iii.    The  “I have been to the mountaintop” speech

2.      As I have read DT this week

a.      I have heard Dr. King’s speech

b.      thinking about Moses atop Mt. Nebo

i.        … seeing the Promised Land

… and knowing that he would not go there with the people, Israel

c.       I thought about Dr. King speaking to the Sanitation Workers in Memphis

i.        Dr. King knew there were people after him

·         he knew there were angry white people who would just as soon see him dead

·         he knew that he may not live to see “The Promised Land”

·         the Beloved Community he described

·         But I don’t think Dr. King knew that, on the very next day after this speech in Memphis – April 4, 1968

·         that he would be assassinated outside of his hotel room

·         at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis

d.      Dr. King talked about the “Drum Major Instinct” of leadership, it’s not the kind of leader that’s always out front gathering all the glory, he taught about the leadership the gospel describes

“everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.

 You don’t have to have a college degree to serve.

You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve.

You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve.

 You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve.

 You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve.

You only need a heart full of grace,

 a soul generated by love. And you can be that servant.”

i.        Somebody thought that the march to freedom would stop if they stopped the “drum major”

ii.      and I wonder if anybody thought, in 1968 that in 2008 one of America’s major political parties would elect a black man as their candidate for President of the United States of America

B.      Get back to my original question.  What could I learn from memorizing a speech?

1.      Prof. must have been trying to teach us something about:

a.      delivery

b.      learning from an accomplished public speaker

2.      as I prepared to “deliver” Dr. King’s speech, I studied the text,

a.      listened to recording and watched video

3.      I don’t know if this is what my professor was after

a.      but through this exercise, as an adult college student, I felt a connection to a great man

b.      a man I heard on TV as a 9 year old boy

i.        a man that I heard grown-ups cuss

ii.      and that confuse me

4.      But as I memorized Dr. King’s speech 25 or 26 years later …

a.      as I spoke his words from memory

i.        without being encumbered by reading from a page

ii.      I felt some sense of Dr. King’s conviction to Civil Rights

·         do you know what I mean?

·         when your soul is stirred when you hear someone speak with conviction?

·         and as I spoke his words, I felt like a captured a moment of that spark

·         that baritone preaching voice of his

·         I saw the nods and heard the shouts from his “Amen corner”

b.      Even if Dr. King’s speech had not drawn us back to Deuteronomy,

i.         with his reference to Moses being on the mountaintop,

ii.      how could we miss the Moses connection as Dr. King concluded his address,

iii.     and how can we –

·         knowing what happened the very next day at the Lorraine Motel,

·          not be amazed at his ominous words as he concludes with these words


We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now.

 Because I’ve been to the mountaintop.

 And I don’t mind.

 Like anybody, I would like to live a long life.

 Longevity has its place.

 But I’m not concerned about that now.

 I just want to do God’s will

 And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain.

 And I’ve looked over.

 And I’ve seen the promised land.

 I may not get there with you.

 But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land.

 And I’m happy, tonight.

 I’m not worried about anything.

 I’m not fearing any man.

 Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord

II.      Tell the Story

A.      Listen again to the description of Moses

a.      Note: although we know the Torah, 1st 5 books, as the books of Moses

i.        this is the place where we see evidence that Moses didn’t write the whole Torah

ii.      especially not this part

·         first, it’s posthumous

·         Moses couldn’t write about the location of his previously undisclosed burial site

·         second, the narrative does not match

·         the praise of Moses we read here is inconsistent

·         Nowhere else will you find Moses speaking so highly of himself

b.      Moses, the servant of the Lord.

i.        120 years old at the time of his death

ii.      sight was unimpaired

iii.    vigor was unabated

iv.     a prophet like no other

v.       he knew the Lord face-to-face

vi.     unequaled for the signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do before Pharaoh

vii.   unequaled for the mighty deeds and displays of power

B.      A little context

1.      in earlier chapters of Deut., 1, 3, 4; we read that God is angry with Moses

a.      unspecified reason

b.      Moses would not be permitted to enter the land with Israel

The Lord was angry with me because of you, and he vowed that I should not cross the Jordan and that I should not enter the good land that the Lord your God is giving for your possession. (4:21)


III.    So What?

A.      Moses didn’t get to see the Promised Land

1.      So was he successful?

2.      He didn’t get to walk with Israel into the land that God promised them

3.      He brought them all that way, yet never made into the land

B.      The fulfillment of the covenant was vital to the life of Israel

1.      Moses had a significant role

2.      and Moses stands today as the great prophet of the Judeo-Christian heritage

C.      Why is Moses revered as such a great prophet?

1.      He wasn’t perfect

a.      not “Employee of the Month” every month

b.      or “Prophet of the Month”

c.       In fact, remember back in Genesis, he tried to talk God out of calling him

i.        “You can do better than me, God.  I’m not your man; I’m not even a good speaker.”

·         Moses stuttered or something that made his speech  not always plain

ii.      but he was the one God called – warts and all, perfect or not

d.      Then, somewhere early in Deuteronomy, Moses really messed up

i.        we’re not sure what it was,

·          but in Deut. 1, Moses told the people /Israel/ that God was mad at him and would not allow him to see the PL

e.      God got mad at Moses,

i.        surely wished he had done better,

ii.      but God stayed with Moses, and the people

iii.    God neither abandoned nor rejected him

·         maybe Moses learned his lesson at that point

2.      Just remember what the Bible says, the inspired Word of God – not Moses’ words about himself

a.      His sight was unimpaired, and his vigor unabated

b.      like no other in the things he did – signs and wonders

D.     Israel’s time under Moses’ leadership was a time of preparation

1.      In the 4th chapter, Deut. says

a.      “follow the statutes and ordinances I am teaching you so that you may live to enter and occupy the land that the Lord is giving you … observe them diligently for this will show your wisdom and discernment to the people” (vv. 3,5)

2.      Israel had a long time of preparation

a.      40 years

b.      to break the habits and thinking after generations of being enslaved in Egypt

c.       to learn to rely on God for everything

d.      and to follow the leadership God provided

e.      not losing sight of the vision

·         which was God’s promise to provide

·         and make of them a people

E.      Moses, their leader

1.      was charged with keeping the vision of the PL ahead of the people

2.      and not to mistake his authority as the god of the people

a.      Moses: the leader

b.      his call was to lead the people

i.        prepare them

ii.      teach and learn as they were on the journey of preparation

3.      the plan/the life in the PL was in God’s hand

a.      Moses was called to prepare and lead

b.      Moses was not the promise

c.        the ultimate realization of God’s covenant was to live in the land as the community of God’s people

4.      On the journey of promise

a.       there was no guarantee, or need, for Moses to enter the land with Israel

b.      because God can be counted on as being faithful

F.       Dr. King’s address to the people in Memphis shows that he understood prophetic leadership

1.      his speech that night was a witness to:

a.      the struggle of the people over generations

b.      the power of God’s response to their cries

2.      Dr. King’s assurance and hope

a.      was not in his power as leader

b.      but in his ability to

i.        follow God’s teaching and authority

ii.      to inspire the people with the vision of justice

c.       that’s why he said he wasn’t afraid

i.        and the reason that he wasn’t discouraged with small victories

ii.      because he had seen the promised land

·         and he trusted in God to keep his promises

·         and he checked his ego

·         so that the important thing was the continuing of the journey

·         keeping their eyes on the prize

·         even if he never saw the fruits of the seeds he was sowing

G.     So it is with our journey together

1.      God has called us together as a community

2.      and is providing leadership

a.      as I am listening and learning of my new home

i.        and discerning God’s call in this part of your journey – the part we are travelling together

b.      I pray for the grace to remain open to God’s promise to make of us a community of faith and witness

i.        guided by his commandments

·         as we find God’s rule for life

·         in the witness of scripture

·         and seen in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, our Lord

c.       I pray for the wisdom to keep my eyes open

i.        to the vision God is showing us

ii.      and for opportunities to respond in faith as God’s people

·         as his witnesses, in our neighborhood, nation, and even the world

3.      My hope, then, is not to worry so much about seeing the completion or perfection of our mission

a.      for that is – a journey

b.      I pray that we will remain faithful on the journey

i.        learning from God’s word

ii.      following God’s rule for our life

iii.    and keeping our eyes on the vision of being community/church together

c.       that – our eyes will see the glory of the coming of the Lord

i.        so may it be with us.   Amen.

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