August 5, 2018

Reading Joshua 1:1-9 (NRSV)

When Moses dies, the people of Israel are in transition. They have to leave the life they know to proceed across the Jordan. God tells Joshua, “now proceed.”

God encourages them: “Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed…for… God is with you wherever you go.”

I witnessed three transitions this week.

One couple expects their first baby. They are excited, but new parents will miss the old life: free time, quiet, sleep. What will help? Strength and courage, and the fact that they won’t be alone. They have an entire network of friends and family to help out.

One family is moving to Fiji. They alternate between excitement and concern. They will miss so much: friends, books, favorite foods! What will help? Strength and courage, and the fact that they won’t be alone. They have a network already in place to help out.

Another family has lost a loved one. The new widow, perforce, will start a new chapter, needing strength and courage.

God sometimes tells us to proceed through a transition, but also blesses, “be strong and courageous.”

For God is with us. And perhaps we can provide others with a supportive network on their way.

Let us pray. Ever-present God, thank you for setting new horizons before us and telling us to proceed. You also encourage us when we fear transitions. Help us to be strong and courageous, knowing that you are with us wherever we go. Amen.

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