I’m sitting in an airport waiting to begin a trip that will take me to “the other side of the sea.” So today’s reading from Deuteronomy seems very appropriate. The wonder of modern travel has turned the previously incomprehensible — a trans-oceanic trip — into something entirely commonplace. People travel from one side of the world to the other for any number of reasons. The author of Deuteronomy would doubtless be dumbfounded.
The reason for my trip is to meet my wife and daughter on the Camino de Santiago, a centuries-old pilgrimage across but still plan to walk nearly 100 miles with them by the time we’re done.
But even with all of the moving around, the driving to an out-of-town airport, the flying and the walking, all of which will take me so many miles, this truth will remain, “No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe” (v. 14). I may cover thousands of miles but God’s word will be present with me the whole way. My challenge, and one I share with you, is always to recognize the presence of God’s word as a reality no matter where I go. And more than that, I am challenged to allow that word, that really, to guide my feet so that I spend my life walking in the way of the Lord.
This can have real consequences. For example, may I never pass by the neighbor in need as the priest and the Levite did in Jesus parable (Luke 10:25-37). Instead, may I act in the manner of the “Good Samaritan,” giving of myself to the needs I encounter. This is what it means to have the word near in heart and mind, no matter what side of the sea I happen to be on.
Prayer: Lord, as we travel through life may we mindful of your presence in our lives, guiding us and blessing others through us. May your word bring to reality a joy-filled community in the name of you Son. Amen.