Pit falls and progress, entering the Promised Land- reflecting on Joshua. (@sallysjourney)

Cleveleys near Blackpool

Image: Sally Coleman

“We can’t go there/ do that…”

“We are too old/ too few/ too ill equipped…”

“AND… AND there are giants… GIANTS”

So runs the prequel to the story of Joshua and the extraordinary continued journey of the people of God as they enter into the Promised Land. It is this timid and trembling group that Joshua is to lead into God’s promises; they have been halted and held up again and again by their own stubbornness and their tendency to look back rather than forward. They have grumbled and dissented, complained and argued, and yet God is with them and before them lay his promises and blessings.

They move forward slowly, slowly but surely, and eventually the whole nation enters the land, but the pitfalls and difficulties remain a part of their lives, they make mistakes, and while there are victories there are also defeats and while we may look back with some unease at the stories of battle and bloodshed in the name of God (and rightly so) I wonder how they mirror our own battles with ourselves and our context as we seek out what it means to be Church in the 21st Century.

We see tribes and leaders commissioned, each one  blessed with a different charism, yet part of one nation, and I wonder if we see reflected in the a picture of the people of God today

The whole book ends with a Covenant, a reminder that our story with God is one of Covenantal relationship, his promises hold firm, and we are held in them even in our difficulties and stumbling (s), and our detours into disobedience. We are reminded through Joshua that we are a people on the move, not quite settled yet, and yet inheritors of the promised Kingdom, heirs with Christ…

“We can’t go there/ do that…”

“We are too old/ too few/ too ill equipped…”

“AND… AND there are giants… GIANTS”

Oh but we can for God is with us…

…and this WILL come to pass.

About Sally Coleman

Practical Theologian, Methodist Minister, mother of 5 adult children, and grandmother to 2, keen swimmer, book worn and amateur photographer, nowhere is better than the beach...