Day 63

Prayer for the day

Early in the morning I cry out to you, for in your word is my trust.

Scripture for the day

Numbers 32-34, Mark 9:30-50

These days, we’re supposed to get rid of labels. We’re supposed to be blind to differences and overlook our eccentricities. We’re supposed to avoid division, dichotomy, any sort of differentiation.

But it doesn’t always work. Sometimes difference is ok. Sometimes we have to separate ourselves, if only to find identity.

In the First Testament story today, the people of Israel are divided. Some want to stay east of the Jordan, and some want to move through the river and take the land of Canaan for themselves. Moses didn’t want to allow it simply because their entire people were their entire people when they were working together. Moses saw that if they allowed these tribes to settle prior to the conquest of Canaan it would divide the people. It would tear them apart if some of the group went through the work of conquering Canaan while the others simply got to settle prior to any fighting.
Moses would only agree to the enterprise if they all worked together. They needed to conquer together in order to possess the land together.

Jesus and the disciples run into a similar question in the Second Testament story. People are casting out demons but do not belong to the disciples’ group. Jesus tells the disciples to simmer down: whoever is doing what they are doing, whoever is up for achieving the same goal, whoever is overcoming the same obstacles, these people are part of the same team.

The call of God on our lives is the call to join “team Jesus.” As terrible and as cliche as that sounds, the call remains. God desires all of us to be part of the mission together. We are called to join together in the work God is doing, to recognize each other as being on the same team, connected, working with God for God and for God alone.


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