Going Deeper 3/26/19

The first reading for Lent 4...
Joshua 5:9-12   The Lord said to Joshua, "Today I have rolled away from you the disgrace of Egypt." And so that place is called Gilgal to this day.  While the Israelites were camped in Gilgal they kept the Passover in the evening on the fourteenth day of the month in the plains of Jericho.  On the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain.  The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the Israelites no longer had manna; they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year.

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus wrote some 2500 years ago that "the only thing that is constant is change", and "no man steps in the same river twice."  Indeed.  Things are seemingly always in a constant state of flux.

Our text points to a time of significant change for the Israelites.  After spending some 40 years tempestuous years in the wilderness following God's powerful and dramatic rescue from abusive slavery at the hands of the Egyptians, they were finally entering the "Promised Land."  At this time of radical change, they began their new future by remembering their past in the form of a Passover meal.  Remembering has always been vital to successfully navigating change.

This remains true for us.  We never know what the future holds... except for change.  We and/or some of our loved ones will experience declining health.  Our culture will continue to change and many of our perspectives will continue to shift.  Our jobs and careers will change.  Even our climate is changing, as it always has... only possibly more than it has ever changed before, which could be triggering all sorts of other changes in our world and in our lives.  And we know how the economy is always up and down.

Critical to our dealing well with change is remembering.  For there to be any real stability in our lives, we must remember we are children of a powerful and loving God who has promised to never leave us or forsake us.  We must remember God's faithfulness and rely on His promises.  

Most of all we must remember God's goodness and grace.  Among other things, this underscores the importance of gathering for our equivalent of the Passover, the Sacrament we which we receive the body and blood of Jesus in remembrance of His powerful and dramatic rescue of us from sin and death.  And in remembering we find the stability we need midst all of the change.

With You in Him,
Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church
Wellington, Colorado

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."