Constructing texts from Texts, gleaning a tweet's-worth to carry us through the day, here's something of our to-and-fro. If you'd like to play - 07729056452.
Js1-2 (v3) Step out, faith first – we are not to be passive blessees. Adventuring: as we constructed our south London lives as liberation narratives, as of Exodus, as of Attack the Block, let us consider our breaking and entering lives, as Jackie P, into another walled city: Hope to break in that Hope might break out. The God of the poor and the prostitute, here found in an architecture of nooks and fringes, and I am flooded with flashbacks to lego cities and school assemblies, an education that with serious play offered to furnish me with eyes to see the world for the fortresses it is. Hoping to break in with you, that Hope would abound.
Js2-3 Rahab an 'outsider' recognising the power of the living God, the God of heaven & earth. This God is to be taken seriously, this God is real. We have heard of your God of miracles & they need her. Affirming that the other always has something to teach me, gift me. Always in humility holding the truth of the God of river-stopping miracles, this to dialogical evangelism.
Js4-5 Land Art and the Lamp of Memory: What do these stones mean to you (v6)? What do these stones mean (v21)? Subjective/Objective meaning makers we are? A world without miracles has little worth memorialising, but we, how can we not? Would not the stones themselves cry out? This is place-making as worship via testimony and it *needs* to be done... God is not for us (v14), not as a mercenary, not as a cajoleable ally, not as a fraction among our ranks, not a contingency plan. God is for our better best, he is the extent, the limit, the only measure by which we can hope to battle the day through, he is our primary presupposition. He is God, we are his.
Js6 The question we've been taught this story to ask - “What is my Jericho?” “What is my walking & my shouting & how long are my 7 days?” Helpful questions, though that there are divine goals & a divine methodology a truth to apply to all our comings & goings, before attempts to crowbar tidy answers to fit these questions in the vein of immature projected biblical heroism. Maybe. Divine methodology here, trust, dependence, obedience, what else? Reading this story for its familiar message another question might be ''what is God's Jericho?' & I am, we are. 'tightly shut up' with nothing going in or out like my closed fists, my lack of surrender, my closed-up-in-myself-ness. God's work is my invasion, he employs the funniest of ways to enact the crumbling of our walls, the assault of our hearts in violent non-violence in order to make us his.
Js7-8 The righteous rise early for the a.m.'s annointing (v16) (as 6v15). Unhelpful to try to correlate our defeats with destructive devotions we may have engaged, but.. Ill-gotten, ill-intended, ill-devoted gain – like meat sacrificed to idols.. What is under your tent? Heaps of stones, heaps of stones and ruins: monuments to faith, monuments to unfaith..
Js9 The Gibeonites, hearing of the power of God & coming deceitfully. Some sort of correlate to a heart attitude I have, that I think I can deceive God, bargain with, reason with, make my protestations to God. Pretending before God! What an absurdity... & all pretence is pretence before God, these double lives we lead, as I profess to know that God sees & knows, brings things from darkness to light. Be unafraid in your honesty, be uncompromising in demanding mine, as we seek to image the divine. I wonder in this narrative what God would have said to an enquiring Joshua, but believing that God has a way for the unpretending, this story glimpses of grace on contact with truth brought to light.
Js10-11 Being and bullet-time. Do not be anxious about times, timing, deadlines, tick tocking clocks whining, ruling, reigning in against our patient faithing, our bold sabbathing. Time is elastic for our meteorological God, do not be anxious. Temporal rules bent, rules broken: do not be ruled by less than God. Prayers also that we would not wear ourselves out in the effort of suspending in tension the love justice of our God in these confusing passages. Do we give blood sweat tears in prayer: fighting prayers prayed against an active evil?
Js12-14 Old triumphs remembered & the vision for land yet to be taken. This becoming a familiar pattern, this our allotted tension, it will never be otherwise, we should not disdain it, it will never be easier, but we may be more & better. That there's more land to be taken is not a failure but a flourishing. Knowing our land allotment, what's given us, what contigent materials we work with, our sphere of influence. Promised land & promises hoped for, waitings for 45 years. Caleb's mould to meditate, seemingly not comparing his lot to Joshua's, though they began together, putting his feet in the right place, following wholeheartedly, waiting faithfully.
Js15-17 This land is your land, this land is my land.. We are this and not that, here and not there, now and not then. Our particular place is portioned and purposed in this particulate universe. Let us be allotmenteers to the glory of god, savour the ground. Ours is a fractal god, concerned to have stewarding done excellently and personally at each scale of existence and experience of a world that is so much richer for its more-than-one-ist otherness.
Js18-19 "How long will you wait before you taken the land the Lord has given you?" A righteous rebuke, coming with weight and urgency. We must hear this, the NIV reporting that the danites "had difficulty" taking their land, which prompted a smile, not of irony but of warmth for human clumsiness, contingency, finitude. Enjoyment of the humanity of these books, the lists & laws & mundane histories, the quirks & the ordinary & the ineptitude. Two lenses for our failings (ambiguous pronoun, prompting when who hows ), the tragic & the comic, both perhaps important.
Js 20-22 Refugee refuges here reiterated. How is your space and the defence it offers to the defenceless? Justice and true worship would/will prevail if/when we made more of this in our home policy and our Home policy. Misunderstood altars: here, just in case, fearing rightly a holy God who is just in love, Israelite body members seeks to keep the whole body from the consequences of idolatry by even its smaller body parts. For all my excitement in stones, land art and meaning making, please check me on my altar building motives. For our sake keep me from skubalon.
Js23-24 A swirling swirl of interconnected commitment, covenant, bearing witness, jealousy. Brought to mind the witnesses to our formal covenants, baptisms, marriages, & the witnesses to our everyday covenants, for in such a universe as this there are many sacraments. Holy jealousy flowing from this, jealousy proper of a holy eros, of a one true God, of marriage's right exclusions. Unlike our broken jealousies of possessiveness & insecurity, this is an overflow not a lack from belonging not resentment. The life lived from this.. as for me & my household, we will serve the Lord.