cactusWhy does God put us in church? Is it to make us feel guilty? Or grade us for attendance? (‘Scrivener? Scrivener?)

Yes.  Post done.

Ok, no.  There’s lots of reasons.  But one big one is because we need friends. Folks who got our backs.  People who remind us what we love and what we’ve got.  Weight-lifters. Let me explain…

I’m reading through Exodus at the moment and God’s led his people out of slavery in Egypt – but they’ve not yet reached the promised land.  They’re no longer slaves, but they keep forgetting…grumbling and despairing and breaking out in all kinds of stress-induced rashes. Hoarding shoes manna. Thinking that stuff will fix them.  Setting their hearts on celebrity leaders and cow bling.  Moaning about the quality of the wafers/coffee/sermon length (‘TEN commandments!  I’ve got Sunday lunch in the oven’).

I know it’s a stretch, but try to put yourself in their shoes. (Mmmm shooess..)

In this wilderness, there are lots of dangers.  Hunger and thirst, battles for leadership, sickness, Watergate (God provides) and now, Amalekites.  Moses tells Joshua to choose some men to go and fight.  But the real battle is closer to home. The next day, Moses stands on top of a hill, holding up the staff of God.  When he raises his arms, they win. But when he lowers them, they lose. As he pictures a cross, then the one called “Jesus” (Joshua – same name) wins. But without the cross – they haven’t a hope.

You can guess what happens next. Moses starts to fade. His arms are so tired he can’t keep them up. So he does what we all do.  He calls on his mates.  And they fight for him.

They find a stone for him to sit on. Then they stand on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. His hands are held steady until sunset. And the Amalekites are defeated. (Exodus 17)

It’s a wonderful picture.  The battle is the Lord’s and He has won.  But each of us has a part to play. Some are fighting in the front lines. Persecuted by enemies who seem much bigger than them. But when they grow faint we can lift their arms. And as we fall, they lift ours. Thank God for church.


3 thoughts on “Weight-Lifters

  1. sometimes when i read this stuff which is so marvellously exciting, at least to the person (E.) who wrote it, and when i infact accomplished the purchase of nothing more exciting than a tube of toothpaste today, i think how limited are my perceptions, the range of my imagination, my limited historical understanding…my limited understanding in general, and then i think i am too lazy to appreciate, to fixed in his ways just to be glad in it. A jolt in understanding needed, but it would take a miracle of enlightenment to get there. That place, called there, is where one learns something really important and doesn’t forget it. Learnt the hard way i supose and indelibly seared on my mind/soul. In such a state of mind, the fact that i dont really know what you are on about, is actually exiting place to be. Lost but presumably easily caught, open and as usual non-transparent to one’s self.

  2. Could be your perceptions are limited; or (more likely) that I don’t make much sense. Or could be that sometimes the Spirit puts bits of the Bible on our hearts with greater force than others; so something that leaves one person cold, whacks another round the face. Maybe…

  3. Thanks for this picture. I often forget why I am supposed to be in church (or at least feel guilty for not) Come to think of it, my arms were getting rather tired this week and some very dear souls slipped in and held me up.

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