Joshua 1:1-9 | Matthew 28:16-20
This is the tale of two commissionings.
This week our E100 readings bring us to the story of Joshua. The people have fled from Egypt, and have wandered in the desert for forty years. The old guard, those who remembered slavery, have died. And, with the death of Moses, the mantle of leadership passes to the next generation, to his right hand man, Joshua. In the opening words of the book of Joshua, we read of his commissioning by God.
In our New Testament reading, we also witness the handing on the mantle of responsibility. Jesus, following his death and resurrection, is about to return God the Father, and he calls his disciples together to commission them to continue his work.
It is the faith of the Church that we are each, by virtue of our calling, commissioned by God into the ministry of Jesus Christ. In the words baptism, that we heard today, we say
Thus, claimed by God we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit that we may live as witnesses to Jesus Christ, share his ministry in the world.
Each one of us here has been called and claimed by God, each one of us has been commissioned as witnesses to Jesus Christ, each one of us has been sent to his ministry.
So it’s worth spending a few minutes to look at these two examples of commissioning, thousands of years apart, and ask what we see in them.
For the commissioning of Joshua, and of the disciples, have a lot in common.