[Pictured is Cape Town, South Africa's elevated highway - the Foreshore Freeway Bridge - begun in the 1970s, stopped in 1977 due to financial issues, and remains unfinished today. Read more about this bridge by clicking here.]
There isn't as much to go around when you get older; not as much energy, not as many resources, not as much inspiration. Why bother with some big thing? we ask ourselves. Little me can't change anything, not now at least.
Moses was led by God in leading his people out of Egypt and for decades of wandering in the wilderness. In Deuteronomy 34, the end of the journey has arrived. Moses is brought to the mountaintop and sees the Promised Land spread out before him. Before Moses can get too elated at having achieved this milestone moment, standing on the cusp of fulfilling the dream of the people of their own land, God delivers the other news. Moses doesn't get to go there, only see it. And then Moses dies.
The unfairness of it strikes us immediately, but there is more to be learned here. For this, we can turn to pillar 20th century theologian Reinhold Niebuhr who memorably wrote:
- Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are saved by love.
Paul's 2nd Letter to the Corinthians takes us further as he brings us back to the image of the sower as he encourages a generous spirit from the Corinthians for a collection being taken to the ministry in Jerusalem. As we dispense with the corruptions of the contemporary "prosperity gospel," we can see that the work and the resources are, respectively, always too big and never enough. Therein lies the lesson.
Find out where this leads by viewing the sermon video below and taking advantage of the downloads below the video panel.
But wait - here's another quote that I hope has meaning for you:
To the wrongs that need resistance,
To the right that needs assistance,
To the future in the distance,
- Carrie Chapman Catt, suffragist and social reformer