Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Joshua 3:7-17

Pentecost +25 – Year A

Joshua 3:7-17

Beware of being exulted, even when such purports to come from da Lord. You may be in line for upping the ante from killing the first-born (bad enough) to genocide (bad to some undefinable exponent).

There is an interesting picture here of priests standing where water once flowed (often termed living-water) and now drier than a bone. Given the number of folks to get across the Jordan it must have been backed up for some time. Given the relative narrowness of the rift valley, the extra must have seeped into dry, dry ground or established a new wetland or been like a dam-burst when finally the priests moved their dryness on.

This story is not meant to stand up to that kind of scrutiny. But as precursor to the official line of "my-god-is-so-much-bigger-than-your-god-that-you-are-now-nothing" approach to presidential campaigning or manifest destiny or pre-emptive doctrine or chosen people or . . . , this is not a healthy place from which to bring forth much in the way of heaven on earth.

Suffice it to say that Joshua's better angel might have responded to the "Master of the entire earth", "you go on ahead, this wilderness is a better place to be." But, then, once you have committed yourself and your house to serving, no questions asked, there may not be the same opportunity to bargain as a partner or remind the Master of the House (Les Misérables reference) to cool it.

Beware spectacle, even holy spectacle, especially holy spectacle.

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