"I don't feel strong. I don't feel courageous. And it doesn't help if you tell me that I ought to be."
This week's 'awkward text' comes from Joshua 1, where Joshua is told to be strong and very courageous. It becomes awkward when we feel scared and we can't do what it says, or maybe we don't want to.
So let's get one thought out of the way quickly: these words were spoken to Joshua when he had a specific job to do and when God had promised him success. It requires a different sort of bravery when we don't know know how things will turn out. And that's the bravery that is usually required of us.
It takes a different sort of bravery to be like Jesus the son of Mary rather than Joshua the son of Nun.
Christian bravery is always about strength in weakness. It is about finding God's strength when we have none of our own. It is about following the one who was crucified in weakness and raised in power. It's about courage to announce a gospel of peace, not the Joshua-like news of warfare.
More on Sunday ...