Lessons from the Wilderness, Part 9

 
9.15.2019 Rev. Jennifer Hageman
(please click on the link above to view the sermon on Facebook)

“God’s name is Emmanuel, meaning ‘God is with us,'” begins Pastor Jenin her capstone to the “Lessons from the Wilderness” sermon series. She harks back to the time of the Israelites’ trek through the wilderness to the Promised Land and their travails, grumblings, disobedience, growth, redemption, and their eventual courage and strength when they arrived at their destination. Dealing with Moses’ death and the uncertainty of what faced them, God told them over and over, “Be strong and courageous.” He promised to be with them as He had been with Moses, and as He would promise many more of His people throughout history, and even today as we navigate tenuous situations where we feel so alone and afraid. Pastor Jen reminds us that Biblical courage comes from our relationship with God, and knowing, meditating on, and keeping His Word, not turning “from it to the right hand or to the left (Joshua 1:7).”

 I am especially comforted by the reminder to rely on God for our courage and strength during the various transitions we go through in life, where the way ahead may seem frightening or overwhelming, but can be seen as full of joy. Pastor Jen says that the world, and even our church, is changing, but we can see this in a new way. God’s church is not a building or a place, but is His people, full of love, grace, and mercy. We are called to move forward no matter how daunting the task, or as John Wayne said, “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”