Part of the Whole
By Rev. Cheryl Kerr
Then the Lord appeard to Abram, and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an alter to the Lord, who had appeared to him. (Genesis 12:7)
“Why is it that people in the Bible who do all the work are never the people who get to reap the benefits of their hard work?” asked a member of my Wednesday morning Cuppa Faith Formation group.
He was thinking also of Moses, who was called to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt and slavery and through the wilderness. When it became time for those last few steps across the Jordan river and into “The Promised Land,” Moses was cut short. He died, literally within eyesight of the goal of his journey, handling over leadership to Joshua who would do the honors in his stead.
It seems cruel of God to choose a leader, give him or her a goal, and then not let them see it to completion.
Sometimes, though, it can be hard to tell when one journey ends and the next begins.
…which might, actually, be the point. The stories in the Bible, as do the stories that make up our lives, often run together one to the next. Each are dependent on the one before it becoming foundation for those that will come after. Even Jesus, who spoke often of peace and justice was eventually crucified in a grand act of injustice and violence at the very hands of those for whom he prayed.
Through the story of Jesus, however, we can see more clearly that what we might perceive as his unjustified “end” was only a beginning to his reign in the hearts of so many as a Way and Truth that cannot ever be destroyed.
Which can assure us that the part we play in building a world of peace and justice, while both beginning and end, is just one small part, though infinitely important to the whole of history.
Prayer: God of the journey, help us to play our part with faithfulness on the team of your creation knowing that our own ending is just another’s beginning. As long as SOMEONE crosses the finish line with the baton, we’ve all won. Amen.