“Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. After three days the officers went throughout the camp giving orders to the people” (Josh. 3:1-2).
MainStreet Church is standing on the bank of the Jordan these days and gazing across at the Promised Land of future ministry fruitfulness in Mound waiting on the other side of this critical moment. As a pastor, my greatest desire is to lead a congregation of people who don’t just read and hear sermons about the Bible, but actually enter into the story and experience it for ourselves today.
This is our time to join Joshua and the Israelites and experience our own Jordan River crossing.
This series of posts invites us to insert ourselves into the unfolding plot and to get our own feet wet as we exercise our own faith in ways that stretch us beyond the point of comfort. I’ve read the Bible many times, and rarely is comfort and security a part of the story.
This story begins with a people settling down on the river banks and camping for a few days. The left one place in order to move toward another. Leaving one place behind is always a prerequisite for those who want to go to the better place God has waiting for us. Waiting is the other common experience of God’s people.
What do you think the Israelites did for those 3 days on the river’s edge? Three days seems just long enough to get people bickering, “How are we going to ever get across that?” Three days was enough time for all the fears and doubts about the new land they were entering to set in. “There are giants in the land! We are like grasshoppers! Crossing this river will ultimately lead us to our doom!”
Or, for the more optimistic folks in the camp it was a chance to dream about all the great adventures that await on the other side. It was a time to prepare themselves for a new chapter of life together. I bet those 3 days crawled by slowly for those anxious to enter the Promised Land. Remember they’ve been waiting ultimately for 40 years, not just 3 days!
So, we have been setting up camp on our own bank at MainStreet. We have been here just long enough to begin our own doubting and dreaming, planning and fearing! For 3 days (or months) we’ve been staring across the Jordan at the new storefront facility that we’re going to be transforming into our new ministry center this fall! For 3 days (or months) we’ve been sizing up the river and trying to figure out how in the world we’re going to get across this barrier. The Jordan represents all the potential obstacles that stare us in the face as we prepare to take this step of faith. For three days (or months) we’ve looked at the cost of rent, the cost of building out, the number of skilled workers this project will require, the time it will take to accomplish, the need for appropriate permits and more.
For 3 days (or months) we’ve waited for God to tell us to MOVE forward. We believe God has sent word throughout the MainStreet camp, we’ve heard his marching orders, we see the destination to which He is calling us, and we are preparing for the great crossing event. Join us for the crossing!