Take a few minutes to push the “pause” button on whatever is going on around you and be still with God.
Zechariah 3:1-10 (NRSV)
Then he showed me the high priest Joshua standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, O Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this man a brand plucked from the fire?” Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.” And to him, he said, “See, I have taken your guilt away from you, and I will clothe you with festal apparel.” And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with the apparel, and the angel of the LORD was standing by.
Then the angel of the LORD assured Joshua, saying “Thus says the LORD of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here. Now listen, Joshua, high priest, you and your colleagues who sit before you! For they are an omen of things to come: I am going to bring my servant the Branch. For on the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven facets, I will engrave its inscription, says the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the guilt of this land in a single day. On that day, says the LORD of hosts, you shall invite each other to come under your vine and fig tree.”
As I reflect on this text, I am overjoyed. I am excited because this is an excellent vision of what can be when God moves. This Joshua spoken of in this passage isn’t the Joshua of Jericho fame. He is the first high priest chosen after the exile of the Jews from Babylon.
Jerusalem had been destroyed, the people were taken captive, it seems all is hopeless! But God! God is still working and calling people into a great vision of rebuilding and living in a God-honoring way, creating a new community that will reflect fellowship with God.
I love the image of standing before God “just as I am” and God exchanging my dirty clothes with robes of white. Not only does God do this for me, but for the community and with new clothes we serve a dirty world partnering together with God to do works of healing and transformation.
God, help me to grasp this vision and Your love for the world.
Go with God!