"But charge Joshua, encourage and strengthen him, because it is he who shall cross over at the head of this people and who shall secure their possession of the land you will see." - Deuteronomy 3: 23 – 29
As we grow older, what's our job? Do we have something important still to do? These words of the Lord to Moses may have something to say to us on this score. Moses is to turn his attention to the next generation, to his successor, to Joshua. "Charge Joshua, encourage and strengthen him."
Sometimes in the world of generational cohorts, taking care of number one, and AARP interest group lobbying, we may forget that the job of those who are mature isn't just to watch out for themselves, it's to prepare the next generation, to encourage and strengthen a new generation.
Who's your Joshua? Who's your Lydia (Acts 19)? Whose gifts and leadership are you called to summon, encourage and strengthen? And in our congregations, how are we who have held the reins of power doing at letting go and empowering others? Which next generation person can I pray for, encourage and strengthen today?
We do not live to ourselves alone, O Lord. We are part of a people, of your people. Help us to do our part to call forth the next generation, to encourage and strengthen them. Amen.
Tony Robinson, a United Church of Christ minister, is a speaker, teacher, and writer. He is the author of many books, including What’s Theology Got to Do With It: Convictions, Vitality and the Church. You can read Tony's "Weekly Meditation" and "What's Tony Thinking?" at his website, www.anthonybrobinson.com.