After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying, “My servant Moses is dead. Now proceed to cross the Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the Israelites. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and the Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, to the Great Sea in the west shall be your territory. No one shall be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous; for you shall put this people in possession of the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to act in accordance with all the law that my servant Moses commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you may be successful wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful. I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
— Joshua 1:1-9
It’s been a year since we first began this journey of Covid-19. A year filled with challenge and change. A year filled with loss and a year filled with memory. For most of the first weeks of this crisis, we spoke about “getting back to normal.” Eventually, we realized we won’t return to the world we knew merely 1 year ago, even so we are beginning to emerge from this year.
Every day I see more and more people posting that they have received vaccinations. Each day, there seems to be more and more signs that this year of Covid is drawing to a close. Even so, there is a part of me that is anxious about the “dawning” new normal. Transitions can be scary times, even when we have been waiting for a long time. I’m not sure what the future will be. I’m not sure how I will react to the changes that have already become a part of our life.
Joshua was about to enter the promised land, and yet, he needed to hear “be courageous.” He needed to be reminded “as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.” It occurs to me that the presence of God is the promise for every day, so much more than the specifics of our days. Our courage comes from God’s presence, holding us.
We have not reached the end of the challenge and we will never return to the life that was February, 2020, and yet, the future is dawning in our midst. Be strong and courageous.
This Is a Day of New Beginnings v. 3
Then let us, with the Spirit’s daring,
step from the past and leave behind
our disappointment, guilt, and grieving,
seeking new paths, and sure to find.
God of each new day, as we mark a year of challenge, a year of struggle, a year of Covid, we know that you call us forward into the future. Grant that we may know your presence with us today and every day. Amen.
Pastor Tom Greener