October 24, 2019
Passing the Torch When You Don’t Want To
October 24, 2019
In Deuteronomy 3, Moses begs God to be allowed to enter the Promised Land, but God says no and appoints Joshua to lead. I will admit this is a tough text, and one I have never completely understood. Moses isn’t perfect but he is faithful. God asks a great deal of him and Moses rises to the occasion, leading the people out of Egypt and leading them in the desert, but because of one incident where Moses goes off of God’s script (see Numbers 20), God denies him entrance to the Promised Land. Moses can see it from the place where he is praying but he will never cross that threshold. This is as far as he goes. He won’t see the completion of the journey; instead, he must pass the torch to Joshua. Moses ends up just short of what he sees as the finish line. Still, despite his pleading, he remains faithful; he obeys. He goes to his rest and passes leadership to the next generation.
What is true for Moses in this moment can also be true of us today. We sometimes get to a place where, instead of completing the journey ourselves, we must pass the torch to someone else. This can be a painful transition, and it can also be freeing to give someone else the trust and responsibility to take up a role that God is calling that person to. Passing the torch can be hard, but it is an important part of making disciples. We must allow the next generation to step up and lead.
QUESTION FOR THE FIELD
- How would you have felt if you were Moses?
- Have you ever had to pass the torch and let someone else lead the group to the next phase or to meet a goal?
- How can you help someone else be prepared to take up a leadership role?
FAMILY FIELD TALK
- Have you ever been in a relay race where you were the next to last person and you had to watch while your teammate ran across the finish line? What does it feel like to watch someone else finish a race that you started?
- How can you be like Moses and be faithful when God asks you to give up leadership to someone else?
God, sometimes we don’t understand why you ask us to let go or not finish what we start. Please help us to be faithful to you and your call on our lives. Help us to listen and follow your instructions. Help us to raise up new disciples and leaders. Amen.