Looking toward the far horizon
“Although you may view the land from a distance – you shall not enter it…I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.” (Genesis 32:52; 34:4)
Moses can’t enter the promised land. As a result of the emerging nation’s failure to follow God’s way, he will not be able to fully fulfill his vocation. He can see the far horizon, but he will not inhabit the land of his dreams.
Moses’ encounter with God mirrors our own experience. Moses followed God regardless of the final outcome. He planted seeds that future generations harvested. He provided guidance that would live on beyond his death. He acted in faith, providing support and guidance for people he would never meet.
God reminds Moses of the impact of his actions for a future he will never see. The same is true for us. We can glimpse the far horizons of God’s Shalom, the realm of peace and justice. We can recognize the needs of people across the nation and the globe, beyond our community and congregation, and know that what we do matters even we never meet.
Let us look for the moral and spiritual arcs of history flowing through our lives. Let us recognize that we are part of a great journey, personally and as communities. Let us look toward the horizon and let our the glimpse of God’s future, guide our steps today. We may get to the promised land but our faithfulness shapes the future and builds a foundation for wholeness and justice in our day and in the future. Let us plant seeds of love, hope, justice, and peace, knowing that we do not need to see the results of our actions, we simply need to do what’s in our power today.
Loving God, give me a vision of the far horizon. Let me see what you have planned for our world. Let me glimpse your realm of Shalom coming on earth as it is in heaven, and let us do our parts to bring beauty to the earth today and for the future. Amen.
Bruce Epperly is a Cape Cod pastor, professor, and author of over 50 books including HOPE BEYOND PANDEMIC, FAITH IN A TIME OF PANDEMIC, PROCESS THEOLOGY: EMBRACING ADVNENTURE WITH GOD, and GOD ONLINE: A MYSTIC’S GUIDE TO THE INTERNET.