Lent, chopped willies and holy ground

Today has been a good day.

I’ve been slowly working my way through the OT and I am now at Joshua. I got up, as planned, at 7am this morning to start Lent. To give up some sleep and spend some time with God.

Those that know me, know that I’m not generally one for spiritualising scripture but Joshua 5 spoke a lot to me this morning and I wanted to share some of those thoughts.

The Israelites renew their covenant with God by getting circumcised (just the men) as no one had been circumsised since they left Egypt and all the people that had been had now died.

YHWH then says to Joshua, “Today, I have rolled away the shame of your slavery in Egypt” (5:9). God has rolled away my shame. He has “cut off” my guilt, my inadequacy, my shame. The old is gone. Today is not yesterday. Today is today. A new day. A renewed covenant.

The flip side of that is that I have to choose to live in that reality. I have to realise that it has been rolled away. I could choose to still walk in that old way. Pretending that the foreskin (pardon my vulgarity) is still there.  Living under that shame and guilt.

But I don’t have to. God has rolled it away.

Later, Joshua comes face to face with “the commander of YHWH’s army” (5:15) and is told to take off his shoes as the ground is holy. Joshua is going through the same ritual that Moses went through. The batton has been passed to him. Only when the covenant was renewed (by circumcision) was Joshua able to see this. The ground was always holy. But that only happened when Joshua committed himself back to God. We can walk around unaware that the ground is holy. We can miss the presense of God every day. I know have. Many, many times. But when we re-connect. When we renew that covenant. God will open our eyes.

That’s what he’s done for me today.  I have taken lent as a rededication to God and God has shown up. He has revealed that the ground is holy.

Roll on tomorrow.

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