Psalms 136:1-3, 16-18, 21-22, 24
As I read today’s scriptures, I especially felt drawn to the passage from Joshua. It’s not often that we encounter readings from Joshua in the lectionary. And, at first, I saw little to draw me in—but I kept coming back to it, as if there was something else I was supposed to see. I know that pull all too well. In my journey, it has come to mean that the Spirit is asking me to take a closer look. So, I did—and was surprised with what I saw.
Remember Joshua? He was the leader of Moses’ army, the famed trumpet player at Jericho, and Moses’ successor as leader of Israel. It was he who lead his people into the promised land. At the moment detailed in our reading, Joshua is nearing the end of his life and preparing to pass on the torch of leadership to the judges. He calls them all together, to offer last words of wisdom. So, on what does he choose to focus attention? He offers a litany of the ways in which God had provided for them and their ancestors in the past. In essence, Joshua charges his successors to remember – one by one – God’s blessings over the many years and generations.
So what? What does that have to do with us today? Why was I drawn to this passage? Why did the Spirit insist that I listen to the message beyond the words? What do I need to remember about re-membering?
Well…let me ask you this: How often do you take time to identify and acknowledge the ways in which God has blessed—and continues to bless—your life? If you’re like me, not often enough! Oh, sure, I know I am blessed. But how often do I—like Joshua—do an accounting of those blessings? How often do I take the time to list them out, feel the goodness of those blessings—and, acknowledge God’s closeness in all that I do and experience?
I am too busy. My life is fraught with overwhelming busy-ness—mounds of work to be done, challenges to be met, deadlines hovering on the horizon, and the list goes on…and on…and on. I am grateful to God, but taking time to think about those blessings…not very often. And, frankly, all too often, I attend to the not-so-great happenings in my life. Like all of us, I have ample instances of those—disagreements with others, disappointments, anger at injustice—that it is all too easy to let those obscure my sight and occupy my few remaining moments.
Yet, in those all-too-few moments when I do stop to think about God’s presence and blessing in my day (most often just before going to sleep), I find a richness of love and relationship that give me a moment’s respite. I see God in the gentle smile of a student, the laughter of friends, the growing maturity of my son, the touch of my husband, the tears of a co-worker…and, the snuggly greeting from my dog. Shekinah—God is present and I know that to be true in the depths of my soul.
Maybe you’re better than I am at taking stock of God’s blessing in
the little moments of your day. If so, you are blessed in another
way too. If not, then join me…listening to the Spirit’s call to remember…and
make it a part of my life, every day, all days. Who knows what we
will come to learn. May it be so.
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