Over the last few Sundays, our Scripture lessons have reminded us more than once that God loves us, and that God first loved us, and that God always loves us. God is always calling us back if we begin to fall away. God is reaching out in love waiting to forgive us. God is always waiting to be gracious to us.
Today we hear the same message again. Indeed, I think it’s important that we hear this message over and over again because I think it’s difficult for most of us to really accept that God loves me, and God has called me into existence out of love.
God sustains me every moment of my existence out of love. God will never stop loving me. That’s what we hear in the first lesson today where the chosen people have now been traveling through the desert 40 years. They went into slavery because of their sinfulness, but God brought them out through Moses, then that long travel through the desert. But notice how Joshua, when he calls the people — now they’re in the Promised Land, they have been freed, and he calls the people together.
Joshua says, speaking for God, “Today I have removed from you the shame of Egypt.” So the Israelites encamped there, where they celebrated the Passover on the evening of the 14th day of the month, then they began to eat the goods of the earth from that place in freedom. The manna disappeared. They no longer needed to wait for the quail to come at night. They were home. It had all been the work of God...