LENT: God of New Land

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Joshua 5:5, 7, 8-12

God of New Land,

History defines us. Our past wounds are our greatest lessons.  The Israelites’ strength is their memory as the stranger (“you know the heart of the stranger,” Exodus 23:9).  You center their future in their past identity, calling them to turn their compassion towards the stranger before them.

And yet, you are the God of the New Land.  Eventually, you brought them out of the wilderness and into opportunity.

Wandering to rooting.
Hunting to gathering.
Manna to produce.

Shame to belonging.
History to future hope.
Tears to laughter.

When the time is right in your eyes, help me to let go of the past.  Wipe away the residue of yesterday’s grievances.  Lift my tired hand and place it yesterday’s palm, so that I might shake its hand to give thanks for all that has been and give permission for it to fade into the background.

You have new land for me to occupy.  You have new days for me to live.  You have new relationships for me to build, new tasks for me to tackle, and new horizons on which to gaze.

You ask for trust, not understanding.

When the time comes, may I trust your leading.  May my hands be willing to let go and receive new land.  May I be bound to the eternal God who heals past wounds, interrupts present moments, and imagines new futures.

Amen.

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