Deuteronomy 26:5 N.R.S.V.
So begins the Bible’s fifth book of Deuteronomy in the twenty sixth chapter as it rehearses the history of Israel under the leadership of the Patriarch Jacob. Thus begins the telling of the wandering time of Israel and the accompanying dangers, fears and sense of dislocation.
What adds to the starkness of this tale is the word used to translate “wandering”. The Hebrew word for “wandering” can also be translated “perishing”. So you could say, “A wandering Aramean was my ancestor”, or you could say, “A perishing Aramean was my ancestor.” That seems to make his situation quite urgent!
I love this passage because it reminds us that the people blessed with God’s covenant of Grace had to endure severe hardship. There would be times of famine and drought, death and menacing enemies, blessing and curse.
This passage also explains why Israelites should give a tenth or tithe of their first fruits. Once upon a time, Israel consisted of Jacob and his family, and they were perishing. God held out the promise that if they left their homeland and headed toward a land flowing with milk and honey, they would be given a land of abundance. They would go from perishing or wandering, to a life of abundance.
We enter that period in our church life of wandering with God. We just sold our building and deposited over two million dollars into the church account. The ruling elders will be responsible and use the funds wisely, but they are entering a season of discerning God’s will and vision for financing our mission.
Pray that God will reveal to them God’s vision for advancing our mission while we wander at Calvary Lutheran Church. We will be searching for a permanent location in Federal Way but we want to take advantage of this time to work for Christ’s mission.
We thank God for our ministry at 1829 S 308th Street on June 4th and begin our wandering with God at Calvary Lutheran, June 11th at 11:15 a.m.
We also need to thank all people who helped us build our building to come burn the mortgage July16, 12:15 p.m. at a BBQ where we will burn a “mortgage” and thank God for providing us faithful people who helped us pay off the loan used to build our sanctuary. Come help us celebrate that day.
Remember that we are on a journey with God. God wanders with us and will help us find our permanent location while expanding the mission assigned to us by Christ. Come celebrate this wandering with God!
In Christ, Will