Reflections: Friday of the Sixth Week After Pentecost

July 5, 2024 

Today’s Reading: Joshua 23:1-16

Daily Lectionary: Joshua 23:1-16; Acts 12:1-25

but you shall cling to the LORD your God just as you have done to this day. For the LORD has driven out before you great and strong nations. And as for you, no man has been able to stand before you to this day. (Joshua 23:8-9)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. My father died 20 years ago, and I have a lot of memories of him and some things I have forgotten. I can recount the joyous times with him and when I fought against him. The greatest memory was when I was able to sit with him the day before he died. My family was all there, and he was able to recall his life, his memories with us, and even impart some final words of wisdom. It was a beautiful thing, even in the face of death.


In Joshua 23, we see Joshua as an aging leader. He has gathered the Israelites at Shechem, the sacred ground of their forefathers’ covenant with God. Joshua imparts his final counsel, emphasizing the crucial balance of faith and living in the covenant of God. He urges the people to remain steadfast in their covenant with the Almighty. Joshua reminds them, “You have seen all that the LORD your God has done to all these nations because of you, for the LORD your God is He who has fought for you.” (Joshua 23:3, NKJV). He is passing on the Lord’s words of wisdom to those who come after him. This is how our Lord works with you as well.  

Even in the face of joy and sadness, sin and forgiveness, life and death, our Lord reminds you of all He has done for you. This is why you have the Sacred Scriptures, which recount all that the Lord has done for the life of the world. When someone dies, they usually pass along their last will and testament, an inheritance they prepared for their loved ones. On that first Holy Thursday, before His betrayal and death, Jesus passes on to His disciples and you the wisdom and gifts of His salvation. 

Each Sunday, you partake of Jesus’ last will and testament given and shed for you in the blessed Eucharist. This sacred Gift is focused on you to point you to the inheritance prepared for you in eternity. Yet, as you come to the Lord’s table, you are not alone. We hear the pastor chant, “…with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven.” At the Lord’s table, you gather at the sacred ground of Jesus’ cross with all of those who have gone before us. It is where we see the Lord and what He has done for us as He has fought and won for us our salvation. Each Sunday, you have that great reunion where you, Joshua, my dad, and all the faithful are seated around the Lamb’s kingdom which has no end. Until then, we hold on to the covenant of Jesus’ blood for us. It is veiled but revealed to you through the Word and Sacraments. This is wisdom for the ages; it is the Lord’s ongoing gift of love and forgiveness for you. It is and will be a beautiful thing. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Feast after feast thus comes and passes by, Yet, passing, points to that glad feast above, Giving sweet foretaste of the festal joy, The Lamb’s great marriage feast of bliss and love. (LSB 631:7)

-Rev. Kent Schaaf is pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, Little Rock, AR.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Jonathan Lackey is the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, Vine Grove, Ky.

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