Since I'll be on the church camping trip this weekend, I figured I'd send tomorrow's reading early and Sunday's late. I'll be out of email touch the next couple of days, but sporadically reachable by phone. As I hope I mentioned, Deuteronomy is sort of Moses' long good bye to Israel. He is saying final things to get them ready for life in the Promised Land without him. In our reading for today, Moses is dead and the torch of leadership has been passed to Joshua.
It would be easy for Israel to feel really stuck now since they had gotten used to following Moses. It's always easy to look back on the past and think how much better it was. Instead, the leaders of Israel consistently encourage Joshua as he steps up to lead. Over and over they promise to follow and support him as long as he is "strong and courageous" as he follows God and leads Israel. Maybe that's a good mantra for all of us as we face the future. There will be challenges, but we are not alone. So trust in God, and be strong and courageous.