Daily Dose, Sept. 15 — Singing the Blues

 

When Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, he said to them: “I am now a hundred and twenty years old. I am no longer able to get about, and the Lord has told me, ‘You shall not cross over this Jordan.’ The Lord your God himself will cross over before you. He will destroy these nations before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua also will cross over before you, as the Lord promised. The Lord will do to them as he did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when he destroyed them. The Lord will give them over to you, and you shall deal with them in full accord with the command that I have given to you. Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.”

Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel: “Be strong and bold, for you are the one who will go with this people into the land that the Lord has sworn to their ancestors to give them; and you will put them in possession of it. It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:1-8)

“You go first.” It’s often something we say when there’s something in front of us that is hard, uncertain, dangerous or downright scary. It brings comfort to see someone else go first…to go ahead of us. It can instill courage and strength in us to see that what’s ahead of us may not be as formidable as we once thought.

Moses led the people of Israel for many years, and yet he was given the bad news that he would not lead the people into the Promised Land. Think about it: it’s where he’s been leading the people for generations. It’s where his own eyes have been set. And to think that his own feet won’t be able to walk into the land. That’s a hard pill to swallow. But what does Moses do? He doesn’t whine and complain. He instead settles into the work of preparing the people, and part of the preparation involves the reminder that God is already going ahead of them. Rather than letting the frustration of his own situation take over, Moses looks outside of himself and sees…the people and God. The same people and God who have been with him all along. His mission hasn’t changed, and so he points the people to their future with hope and anticipation.

Tomorrow morning, in all of our worship services, we’re having “Blues Sunday.” The music will all have the flavor of the blues — including spirituals and gospel music. It will be a day to acknowledge that we all know what “the blues” feels like, because we’ve all experienced it. It will also be a good day to remember that God is present through every situation in life, and that he is ALWAYS going with us and ahead of us, never leaving or forsaking us.

Join me in worship tomorrow — and invite someone else to come who needs to know that God is with them, even when things are hard. — Rev. Brad Greene