Written by Daniel Hazard
Excerpt from Deuteronomy 34:1-7
"Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho, and the Lord showed him the whole land…Then Moses, the servant of the Lord, died…."
Reflection by Quinn G. Caldwell
An old story imagines what happened after Moses died. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are sitting in the afterlife, when they look up and see Moses in the distance. He's headed their way at a dead run, his long white beard flowing behind him, his robes hiked up, and his skinny old man legs flashing. He skids to a stop in front of them, and as soon as he catches his breath, he blurts out, "I have seen it! I have seen the Promised Land! The oath that the Holy One swore to you? He has fulfilled it!" Their faces light up and they begin to praise God.
It's such a great image: Moses like a little kid running up to his parents, bursting with news, and the Patriarchs, having lived, and labored, and waited long for God's promise, hearing that it has finally been fulfilled.
Here's an even better story: Moses has taken his place next to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They look up, and there, sprinting toward them in the distance, bursting with news about God's faithful action on earth is…you. And you run up to them, and you catch your breath, and you open your mouth, and say…
Well, I'll let you decide what you'll say.
Faithful God, help me to keep my eyes open for the fulfillment of the promises you made to the ancestors. Let me never miss a single one of your blessings, and give me the grace to never stop telling people about them. Amen.
Quinn G. Caldwell is Pastor and Teacher at Plymouth Congregational Church, UCC, in Syracuse, New York, and co-editor, with Curtis J. Preston, of the Unofficial Handbook of the United Church of Christ, published by The Pilgrim Press.