Rev. Dr. Diane M. Baldwin
Woodhaven Presbyterian Church
October 26, 2014 – Reformation Sunday
The first page of the book of Genesis, writes Rabbi Kushner, describes God as creating a perfect world, a world where nothing was out of place and everything fit together in complete harmony. “And God saw all that God had made and found it very good” (Genesis 1:31). The last page of the book of Deuteronomy, last of the Five Books of Moses, ends with Moses tantalized by a distant glimpse of the Promised Land and fated to die without ever entering it. Moses, who had served God so faithfully, who had sacrificed so much to lead a stubborn and rebellious people from slavery to freedom, who had brought the word of God down to earth from the mountaintop, will die without achieving either of his greatest desires: he never saw the people become the God-centered community they had been summoned to be, and he would never set foot in the Promised Land he had been look forward to for forty years, deprived of that privilege for what seems to readers of the Bible to be a trivial misunderstanding. It seems so cruelly unfair. What happened between the first page of the Five Books of Moses with its vision of a perfect world and the last page with its portrait of a faithful Moses denied his life’s dreams is that life in all of its messiness, unfairness, and unpredictability intervened, life with its capacity to tantalize us with dreams and then break our hearts.
(…excerpt from podcast)