Stepping into the Future: Formed by the Faithful
Nov 5, 2017 - Rev Susan Robb
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Who would you say has been the most influential person in your life?
Rev. Robb told a story of her husband experiencing his father’s death as a young man and his feeling responsible to lead the family. At first, he felt that he never really received his “marching orders” on how to conduct himself in this new role. However, he realized that he had been given marching orders by seeing how his father had lived – how his father’s faith shaped his life and his role as a businessman with integrity. This is what Joshua must have experienced without Moses – the only leader that the Israelites had ever known – and often what we feel like trying to live faithfully.
As Joshua led the people across the Jordan River, the first thing they did was build a memorial to God’s faithfulness in bringing them through the Red Sea and the Jordan. They also celebrated the Sinai Covenant in which they received the law and the Passover. Remembering Moses’ leadership and God’s faithfulness in the past gave Joshua and the Israelites the strength and courage to step into their own unique future.
We must remember the past, but we cannot confuse this with living in the past. God is concerned with the future, and we should be formed, informed, and transformed by the faithful people who have come before us so that we can change the world for God’s perfect will.
For those of us whose past includes brokenness, violence, and suffering; remembering can be a difficult thing to do. Our New Testament Lesson in Revelation gives us hope because the Lamb of God is guiding us to a future with peaceful springs of water, and he will wipe away our tears. Remembering these past promises of God holds rich hope for our future.
We remember and give thanks to our past, our ancestors, and God’s promises; which can be instructive for us as we faithfully move into God’s future.