Daily Office Readings for Saturday of Proper 4: Year 1:
“You stand assembled today, all of you, before the Lord your God—the leaders of your tribes, your elders, and your officials, all the men of Israel, your children, your women, and the aliens who are in your camp, both those who cut your wood and those who draw your water— to enter into the covenant of the Lord your God, sworn by an oath, which the Lord your God is making with you today; in order that he may establish you today as his people, and that he may be your God, as he promised you and as he swore to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I am making this covenant, sworn by an oath, not only with you who stand here with us today before the Lord our God, but also with those who are not here with us today:” (Deuteronomy 29:10 to 15)
While this is a huge bite from Deuteronomy, it packs a lot to ponder. We Christians “stand here,” in Church today and at some point in the service we recite the statement of belief, our Nicene Creed. We have me, a priest, we have our bishop, we have our Deacons for our Deaneries. In us you have the leaders of our tribe, the elders and officials of our faith in this Diocese.
As the Baptized all of us, (lay and ordained), have entered into a covenant with God through our Lord Jesus. We have those among us who are not as sold on our faith as we are. And while they do not cut our wood and draw our water, they look to us whom they assume to be knowledgeable about Godly living. We have a responsibility of faithful leadership, ordained or not.
Here is an amazing thing. Moses says to the people and to us, “I am making this covenant, sworn by an oath, not only with you who stand here with us today before the Lord our God, but also with those who are not here with us today,” (Deuteronomy 29:14 and 15). We are those of whom Moses speaks when he says, “those not (yet) here with us today.” Moses reminds us of the promise, the covenant, that began with Abraham and is still our call today of a promised land. We are the honest pied pipers of those who believe, and those who say they do not believe. God wants all people in the courts of heaven. You and I are not to judge. We are called to listen, learn, love, live, and lead. This is what Abraham did. This is what Moses did. And this is what we are also called to do. Lay or ordained, it makes no difference. All that matters is love for God and our neighbor, all neighbors.
Let us live to love, more than just love to live, listening to what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John