Draw near and hear the words of the LORD your God” was the appeal from Joshua to the descendants of Israel as they stood along the banks of the Jordan at the edge of the Promised Land. In this moment, Joshua issued two imperatives, “draw near” and “hear,” that focused...
Holy God, draw us near to hear your loving invitation to remember that your presence sustains us even in uncertain times. Amen.
An overarching theme of the All Saints Day lectionary texts is “Keep pressing forward, despite observable challenges, because God is still at work among us.” Joshua seeks to bolster the sojourner’s faith by linking the present moment with the rescuing actions of God in the past. The psalm is a song of corporate thanksgiving, a deep inhalation and a collective sigh of relief from the those who were drowning in the dark waters of exile. In Thessalonians we read an apostolic plea to allow the word of God to continue its revelatory, good-news work among believers. And in Matthew we hear the charged opening of Jesus’ final discourse, as he sharply warns against religious arrogance and hypocrisy that can hinder God’s work of kingdom justice.
Read Joshua 3:7-17. When have you had to trust leaders for the good of your community?Read Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37. Recall difficult times in your faith journey. How did you experience God’s steadfast love through these times? Read 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13. What daily practices give you insight into God’s word? How do you encourage others in their life of faith?Read Matthew 23:1-12. Do your leaders live what they preach? If you are a leader, how do you strive to live the gospel?
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