Archive for April 22nd, 2016

Joshua 3: Crossing the Jordan

Friday, April 22, 2016stones-stack-940x3601

Each time we must embark on an essential task which appears to be impossible, we ought to read this book of how a determined band of faith-filled people were able to accomplish something which appeared to be impossible . . . but only impossible in human terms . . . for with God, all things are possible.

This chapter follows on the heels of the story of how Joshua and his fellow-spies were saved by Rahab, the woman who runs a brothel perched higher than the city wall.  Footnotes tell us some interesting details about this woman whom the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews praises.  Details like these allow us to remember that God uses many ways to gain the ends he seeks, and God does not allow discontinuity or aberrations to interfere with the end goal of bringing the kingdom to fruition.  And this is good news for all of us for when we read Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew 1, we read a litany of saints and sinners.  We are all members of Christ’s family.  We are his adopted sisters and brothers.  And as a community, we are his bride, invited to cross the Jordan in our journey home.

There are many river crossings for us to make. There are many currents that want to rip us away into an overwhelming tide.  There are many boulders hidden under the rippling water that have slippery surfaces and sharp edges.  The river is a beautiful life-giving place; yet it is full of danger.  The Hebrews carried their God in an Ark they had fashioned carefully of gold.  This Ark held the presence of Yahweh – desert manna, stone tablets of The Law, and Aaron’s rod.  This Ark was later replaced by the Blessed Mother who bore the incarnation of God to the world.  This Ark must now be the temple place we prepare in our hearts where Yahweh may dwell in each of us.  This is the Ark that we now take up as we wade into the swirling depths of life.

What does our Ark contain?  Have we made it with loving care?  When we lift the lid, what do we see?  Superficial lives or faithful service?  Hollow hearts of false oaths or full ones yearning to share what we experience?  Is the tablet still of stone or have we allowed God to write his promise on our hearts?  Do we see the Law of Self or the Law of Love?

If we are to reach the opposite shore of the river, we might want to unpack and re-pack the ark of our lives before we step into the eddying water.  Perhaps we will leave something behind.  Perhaps we will go in search of something we know we ought to have.  How do we know what to take with us?  It is simple.  We must ask and answer this question: When we open this ark before God, our creator, will we find an image of God?  Will God smile with the love of a parent who sees work well done by the child?

Before we step into the Jordan of our lives, let us think about the contents of the ark we carry on our shoulders and if we must . . . let us with honesty . . .  unpack and re-pack the contents of our lives.

Adapted from a favorite from May 26, 2008.

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