It is the Lord, your God, who marches with you

Saints Pontian, Pope, and Hippolytus, Priest, Martyrs (Optional Memorial)

When Moses called together the people of Israel for his final speech, he began with the bad news:   he was not going to lead them across the Jordan into the Promised Land.   It was his time to die.   Imagine the sadness that spread through the gathering.   How could they possibly function without him?

But Moses moved quickly to the good news:   “It is the Lord, your God, who marches with you;   he will never fail you or forsake you. . . . So do not fear or be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8).   He reminded them that God himself would lead them, just as he had always done.

Jesus made the same promise to his disciples.   They were overcome with grief when he announced his imminent death, but he assured them, “It is better for you that I go.   For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you” (John 16:7).   What could be better than the Son of God walking beside them?   The Holy Spirit dwelling within them!

Both the Hebrew people and the disciples were facing a major transition.   It was natural for them to feel anxious about the future, but their dying leaders reminded them that they could count on God’s abiding presence with them, no matter what the future might hold.

Perhaps you too are facing a transition or an uncertain future.   Perhaps a parent or friend on whom you relied has been taken from you.   Maybe you don’t feel secure in your job—or a child has disappointed you or even turned against you.   Perhaps you’re keenly aware of falling short of your goals.

In times like these, you might become consumed with anxiety.   You might be tempted to dwell on the uncertain future and miss God’s invitation to dwell with him in the present.   Whatever the future brings, you can be sure of one thing:   God will be with you there.   More important, Jesus is with you here and now.   Whether or not you receive answers to the questions that seem so urgent, you can count on his loving presence.   Leave your fear and confusion with him, and rest in his unconditional love for you.

“Spirit of the living God, I believe you are alive in me. Open my heart to the reality of your presence here and now.”

(Psalm) Deuteronomy 32:3-4, 7-9, 12
Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14

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