Weekly Devotions for 5/7

“Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak;
    let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
 May my teaching drop like the rain,
    my speech condense like the dew,
like gentle rain on grass,
    like showers on new growth.
 For I will proclaim the name of the Lord,
    ascribe greatness to our God!” – Deuteronomy 32:1-3 (NRSVUE)

This passage from Deuteronomy is from Moses’ song in response to Joshua being identified as his successor. Moses’ time as leader is not over yet, but his time is growing short and he needs to begin preparing Joshua to eventually take over as leader. He is praying that his teaching be nourishing for Joshua, that Joshua may be able to take in the knowledge required for his eventual role at a rate he can absorb rather than being inundated by it. Moses is praying that he can give out a gentle rain of information rather than spraying a fire hose.

This passage strikes me at the moment as we trying to get some grass seed to grow. We had several trees removed around our house last year. It was needed, but the equipment ripped up the grass from the soft soil on our property. There is quite a large area that needed to be seeded. The past few weeks have been challenging for getting the seed started. The days have been warm but some of the nights have gotten near the frost point. We have a sprinkler, but the area is really too big for that. We really need the gentle rain, but that has only come inconsistently, with some dry stretches and some stretches of inundation. There’s nothing like rain showers to get the new growth started.

The passage also strikes me as I know that our nominating committee is at work reaching out to people about serving on our congregation’s council. Quite a few council members are hitting their term limit this year and next year, and so a new growth of leadership is important. I hear from many people that the idea of being on council is overwhelming and seems like too much. I find myself hoping with Moses that it might be possible to take the experience of those finishing their time serving on council and share it with a new growth of leaders for the congregation as a gentle rain rather than a flood of information. It is so easy to fall into that – one person is done, the next comes in to sink or swim. As a community, we are all better off when we all take part and work together so that the roles of leadership in the church are nourishing and increase faith rather than leaving someone to drown. Certainly my hope with all who served on council is that it is a time of building faith, and I believe that it is a meaningful experience for those who serve. May the gentle rain fall on us and nourish us all, that we might proclaim the name of the LORD and ascribe greatness to our God.