So it was, when the people set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan. (Joshua 3:14-16)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. This is another example of God’s wonderful kindness. It’s so wonderful that some may even argue it’s unbelievable. Sadly, there are people outside (and very often inside) our churches who don’t trust the accounts of God’s great faithfulness.
They prefer to argue that God didn’t create man in His own image. It was the other way around. We created god, which explains the profusion of gods and religions. It explains the homicidal tendencies between and among faiths that we see everywhere. It’s what has retarded the progress of our church and society.
Such people have a passion against God. And for many who grew up in church, but fled, they grow more hostile and confident every week they’re away from the communion rail. They can’t see what’s obvious to you. They understand differently. They do have reasons for their belief, as you have reason for yours. But the difference between you and them is that they’re their own chief opponent. As long as they can convince themselves, nobody else can persuade them. They know there’s no promise God has made that can rescue them. God is not faithful. Not wonderful. Not great.
But are they so different than us? No. We’re all born without fear and love for God. Let us pray for them then as we pray for the whole Church on earth, that we may all enjoy the forgiveness and hope that accompanies this God. He’s faithful when we’re faithless. He loves us when we’re unlovable. He’s patient and kind when we’re impatient and angry. He enjoys the challenge of turning a heart of stone (like He turned back the waters in the Jordan so the people could cross) into a living, beating heart of faith that gladly believes that all His promises are true. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
What punishment so strange is suffered yonder! The Shepherd dies for sheep that loved to wander; The Master pays the debt His servants owe Him, Who would not know Him. (O Dearest Jesus, What Law Has Thou Broken, LSB 439:4)