So, today is November 1st (well, now it’s November 2nd, but it’s still the 1st in my world). Do you know what November 1st is? It’s All Saints’ Day, which follows right on the heels of Halloween (celebration of evil spirits, ghosts, goblins, etc.). Today begins the Time of the Church calendar year called The Church Triumphant. This part of the calendar is the end of the Church year, which begins November 1st and goes until the first Sunday in Advent (the beginning of the new Church calendar year).
It’s no accident that the Church Triumphant follows on the heels of the Church Militant theme of the Church calendar. The Church Militant focuses on the struggles, temptations, and spiritual warfare that faces the Christian Church and Christians on this side of heaven. Now the focus changes toward the Final Triumph for Christians as we wait for the Lord Jesus Christ to return visibly and take His people home.
Home. What is home? Home is where family is. Home is where there is safety and security for family members. Home is where there is comfort and security. Home is where love is found. Home is home. It’s not the same for a person when someone is away from home and that person desires to be there. Memories are there. Joy is there. People want to be home for the holidays–Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s not fun to be separated from a place and people that one wants to be with. Mom’s new favorite commercial is the Pizza Hut commercial where the cute little homesick alien is looking at a round pizza pie and he says, “Round. Round like home.” He wants to get back home in the worst way. (Click here for the 30 second version of the commercial.)
Today’s reading includes Deuteronomy 34:1-5. This is the end of Moses’ journey and work for the LORD. God sent him into Egypt to free God’s people from bondage and slavery, and Moses was chosen by God to lead His people into the Promised Land, their new home. This true story is known as the Exodus (‘ex’ means ‘out of’ in Greek), which began in Egypt under slavery and bondage. The people were led to the end of their journey as they were delivered home to the Promised Land. However, Moses was not allowed to go into the Promised Land (Read Numbers 20:1-10 to find out what sin Moses committed against God so that he was not allowed into the Promised Land. God forgives sin. Yet sin still brings consequences). He was almost home. But he wasn’t quite there. However, God allowed Moses to see it from afar with his own eyes. Nevertheless, Moses trusted in God’s promises that he would make it to the ultimate Promised Land–Heaven–because of his faith in God.
Sin separated us from God and heaven–the Promised Land. If it weren’t for Jesus, we would be standing from afar only looking at it, but never having the chance to enter into it and enjoy it. Try to imagine what that would be like. It’s torment (Jesus told a parable about The Rich Man & Lazarus as He describes what this is like).
Heaven is God’s home. Heaven is governed by God. Therefore, God sets the rules and requirements for who He allows into His home. And the requirement is perfection and 100% holiness. That’s a real bummer for us because we cannot attain that on our own. In fact, there’s nothing we can do to earn or work our way into Heaven. However, Jesus took care of that for us on the cross. There is where He paid for our sins completely 100%. He met the requirements for us. Now, because of your faith in Jesus alone, God says, “You are a part of My family. You will be with Me as we live together at Home.”
That’s our certain hope as Christians. We are still on the journey here on earth until Jesus visibly returns to take us Home. But we are not alone. Jesus is with you everyday. Jesus comes to us when we hear His promises in Church, when we read His promises in the Bible, and when we receive Christ’s Body & Blood in Holy Communion as He brings a part of the Promised Land to us.
- What do you think was going through Moses’ mind as he stood on the top of Mt. Nebo looking at the Promised Land that he could not enter?
- What might he had been thinking about the sin he committed against God, which kept him from entering?
- Even though he couldn’t enter the Promised Land at that time, what promises from God did Moses cling on to?
- How are we like Moses?
- What is the promise Jesus makes to us in Matthew 28:20b?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am sorry for my disobedience and sins against You. I do not deserve to be a part of Your family, nor do I deserve to enter into the eternal Promised Land of Heaven Your home. Yet, You are loving and forgiving. You sent Your Son to suffer and die on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins. Thank you for Your love toward me. Thank You for giving me faith in Jesus Christ my Savior. And thank You Jesus for walking with me everyday as You lead me to the Promised Land. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.