|Published on Sun, May 24, 2020 3:00 PM|
Meditation for 25 May 2020 by Fr. John F. Fergueson
“Have I not told you: Be strong and stand firm? Be fearless then, be confident, for go where you will, Yahweh your God is with you.” Joshua 1:9
After the death of Moses, God chooses Joshua to lead the Children of Israel across the Jordan River and into the Promised Land. What they have been waiting for forty years will be happening in just three days. The verse I’ve chosen are God’s concluding words of counsel and encouragement to Joshua, before preparations for the river crossing and setting foot in the Promised Land take place.
It is a Marine Corps custom for leaders of combat missions to give a brief speech to his troops immediately before stepping across a Line of Departure, to strengthen the fighting will, courage, and mission resolve of his troops. I’ve heard several of these speeches. They were all amazingly similar to God’s speech to Joshua. I can imagine the excitement, mixed with fear, courage and resolve that Joshua and the Children of Israel were feeling.
During the six weeks from Ginny’s fall at our home to her death on April 23, there were at least five “stepping off” points, as she moved to units in Evergreen Hospital, the Serenity Park Adult Family Home and finally Evergreen Hospice. At each point, it became clear that God was opening doors for Ginny to move in a new way. At each point, God was reminding Ginny, Susan, Dan and me to “Be fearless then, be confident, for go where you will, Yahweh your God is with you.”
None was more powerful than her miraculous admittance to Evergreen Hospice. It became obvious that our family was being called to attend and assist Ginny in stepping off into the true and eternal Promised Land. “For to your faithful people, O Lord, life is changed, not ended; and when our mortal body lies in death, there is prepared for us a dwelling place eternal in the heavens.” Ginny died very peacefully, with Dan and I holding her hands, and Susan gently stroking her hair. She truly lived and died her faith.
Susan and Dan both experienced Ginny’s presence following her death. I experienced her presence about a week later. She told me, “I can now run again!” Later that day, I received a phone call from an old and dear friend, living on Cape Cod, telling me that she had experienced Ginny’s presence. She told Janey, “I just wanted you to know that I’m fine!”
I now know, with a certainty I’ve never know before, that “Be fearless then, be confident, for go where you will, Yahweh your God is with you.” I invite you to trust that truth, no matter whatever comes your way, even death, Yahweh our God is always with us. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Fr. John F. Fergueson
Joshua 1:1-9 Psalm 89:1-18 Ephesians 3:1-13 Matthew 8:5-17
 Book of Common Prayer, p.382. Proper Preface for the Eucharist for the Commemoration of the Dead.