Joshua and the Jordan River
Apr 28, 2017
Read Joshua chapters 3 and 4 about the Crossing of the Jordan River. Early Church Father, Gregory of Nyssa’s interpretation of Joshua crossing the Jordan River is that of a typology of baptism. St. Gregory understands Joshua as a prefiguration of Christ. St. Gregory notes that Christians are to, “Carry the Gospel as he (Joshua) carried the Ark. Leave the desert, that is to say, sin. Cross the Jordan. hasten toward a Life according to Christ, toward the earth which bears the fruits of joy...overthrow Jericho, the old dwelling-place...All these things are a figure (typos) of ourselves” (Danielou, 103).
If we understand Joshua crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land as a typos of ourselves, I challenge you to reflect on the following:
Imagine you are one of the Hebrews following Joshua into the Promised Land. You have been through the desert and made treacherous climb up the rocky mountains. Atop the mountain, you look out over into the Promised Land. You are so close! You see the lush, green land God has promised your people. Yet, you are still so far away. The group led by Joshua must climb down the mountains and then cross a wide river, the Jordan River. The waters separate you from the promise. How will you ever get across without a boat or bridge? This is the last challenge. But, Joshua goes before you. He sets up twelve stepping stones to help you across the water into the land which is regenerated by the fresh waters which you crossed!
When in your life have you been so close to a goal that you could see it? The goal was within reach, but one last challenge stood in your way? Like the stones laid down in the river by Joshua, how did God place people or event in your path to help you along the way? How did you feel when you finally made it! Did you give praise and thanksgiving to God? Did you thank those who helped you? Did you celebrate the success?