September 29, 2019, Numbers 14:10b – 20 – Post 3

The past two weeks we have had before us one episode in the Hebrews’ journey from Egypt to Canaan, the mission to spy out the land and population of Canaan.

Twelve are picked for the task/mission. Could we say God calls these folk to this particular mission?

They go about doing the work they are called to and part of which is to report back to the Heberw encampment what they found. And this “mission group” is split on what to do next. The initial result given the impressions put forth by the majority of spies is to abandon the overarching mission of the Hebews, that of moving to the new home God has called them to. What happens when we want to turn away from God’s call (and calls) to us. Does God cut us off, and move on to others to accomplish God’s work? That is shown in this episode to be a possibility. Or do others still see what can be done and plead with God that the call not be taken back and by way of God’s mercy continue with the ones he called?

Do we still see this pattern repeated today. Call – Response – Mission – Struggle – Discouragement – Grief – Failure – Mercy – Call ?

It doesn’t take me long to find this kind of pattern in my own life.

Do you find it?

Let me close with a thought from a certain Rabbi whose entire life was up-ended and turned around by God’s call. You and I remember him by the name, Paul (well, Saul also). These are words from The Message translation of 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. Hear them as an offer of hope –

… then he told me,
My grace is enough;
it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that,
I was glad to let it happen.
I quit focusing on the handicap
and began appreciating the gift.
It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness.
Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer,
these limitations that cut me down to size
—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks.
I just let Christ take over!
And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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