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Consecrate Yourselves
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Photo:  Studiomill
They’d waited 40 years for this moment; this time when at last their lives could move forward and their dreams of home and hearth could be fulfilled. Waiting was the hardest thing—waiting for beloved parents to die—burying them in the unwelcoming soil of a foreign land—waiting for their great leader to die. God had been so close to him. Some remembered how Moses’ face shone so brightly after his encounter with God on the mountain that he had to cover it in order to speak to the people.

There was a lot to understand about waiting. How could a vote based on majority opinion and human logic bring about such disastrous results? The younger generation—the ones who were kids wanting to toss pebbles at the wall of water in the Red Sea—had 40 years to learn from their parents’ mistakes. Forty years to learn about trust in a living, ever-present God.The living God as opposed to the gods of wood, stone or metals that their parents knew in Egypt and that the nations around them worshiped. Forty years must have felt like forever!

“Wait” is a word used many times in the Bible. The psalmist, David, knew about waiting. “Wait for the Lord;” he counsels, “be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord,” (Psalm 27:14). As Christians, God often calls on us to wait. When we’re waiting for healing or jobs or answers, it’s hard to be patient; to keep trusting; to mind the “tent” where we are when we want to be settling in the Promised Land.

Marching Orders

There’s a key part in the Israelite story that I believe is key to our stories, our journey. Moses had died. A new leader was in place and God gave him the marching orders. But first, the people needed to be ready. “Prepare three days of provisions for yourselves and your families because we’re going to cross the Jordan!”

The crowd was filled with joy and excitement. Then came the word, the most important word to be proclaimed throughout the camp: “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you,” (Joshua 3:5). I can picture the messengers: running, joyful, shouting, going to the furthest edges of the encampment so that every Israelite would hear.

God’s people today are camped near the banks of another Jordan waiting; eager for the marching orders. The gospel call today is traveling faster than the speed of light and sound, circling the world with the message: “Make ready; consecrate yourselves!”

It is our daily task to consecrate ourselves, our families, our work, and our world. Have we not, each one, been called as messengers? “Tomorrow/Today the Lord will do great things for us.”

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By Lois Pecce. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.


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