Day 82: Joshua 13–15, Psalm 69, John 3 – The Rt. Rev. Michael Curry

Joshua 13–15, Psalm 69, John 3
It is not known for sure, but some scholars theorize that the Book of Joshua was composed
during the exile of the Jews in Babylon. Others suggest that it was written during the
period of the Persian dislocation, when a small community of Jews was exiled under the
rule of the Persian Empire. In either case, it is possible that Joshua was written when the
Jewish people of God were in exile, without a home, lost in lands not their own.
I can only imagine how a Jew would hear these stories of Joshua distributing the land to
the tribes of those who formerly had no home. Imagine hearing that your ancestors were
given land by Joshua, with God guiding Joshua in the distribution. Imagine. Imagine.
What appears to be a narrative of land distribution would likely have been heard as a
hymn of hope—a hymn quickening the imagination to dream beyond the reality of
what is and in the direction of what God dreams and intends for the human family and
all creation. Imagine.
George Bernard Shaw had it right when he said, “Some look at things that are and ask
why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not.” Only those who dream, those
who imagine, those who, as the old spiritual sings, “look over Jordan,” find the courage
to pray and labor for a different, a new, a better world, a new and different self. Imagine.
That’s what Jesus was teaching Nicodemus. “You must be born anew, again, from above,”
he says (John 3:7). And Nicodemus replies, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can
he enter a second time into his mother’s womb?” (John 3:4). And Jesus points to the
Spirit, to the kingdom of heaven, to the ultimate horizon and reality of God. New birth.
New possibility. New heaven. New earth. Imagine.
The Rt. Rev. Michael Curry
Bishop of North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
What would change in your life if you
took seriously God’s dream for you?
Dear Lord, help me this day to see beyond
what is and to behold your dream for what
is meant to be. Amen.