A Message from Pastor Kaji

February 29th,2024 Categories: Weekly Letter

Sunday March 3

Click here for Pastor Kaji’s 2nd Sunday of Lent sermon

Dear Church:

For the third week of Lent, we turn to another story of war in the Holy Land. For all of the years I’ve heard about the story it tells, I’ve been encouraged to learn from Joshua’s wins. In fact, it is one of the first biblical stories I ever learned, as I was taught the song “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho” in choir at my DC public school. Joshua is formative and foundational in so many of our educations as Christians. 

But is Rahab? 
In your preparations reading the Biblical text, I ask you to wonder with me: with whom do you identify in the Jericho story? Consider this on the level of the individual characters, but also of the people they represent. Do you identify more with the Israelites, or the Canaanites? Do you understand why? 

As I pray over a word to offer this Sunday, I’ve sat closely with two pieces that sit in interesting conversation with our text from Joshua. First is this sermon from Dr. Gafney. Second is this New Yorker article on Josephine Baker by Dr. Lauren Michele Johnson.  
I’m letting God draw some connections for me between these incredible stories of spycraft, fealty, survival and heroism. As I do, I wonder who we are in this time of war? 
I can’t wait to see you on Sunday. 
Pax Christi,
Pastor Kaji


Scripture: Joshua 6:15–17, 23, 25 (Year B, p. 82):

15 And it happened on the seventh day that they rose early, at the break of dawn, and circled the city in the same way seven times. Only on that day that they circled the city seven times. 16 And it was the seventh time, when the priests blew the ram’s horns, Joshua said to the people, “Shout! For the FAITHFUL ONE has given you the city. 17 The city and all that is in it shall be devoted to the HOLY ONE. Only Rahab the prostitute, she shall live and all who are with her in her house because she hid the messengers we sent.

23 So the youths who were the spies went in and brought Rahab out, along with her mother, her father, her sisters and brothers, and all who belonged to her—all her kinfolk they brought out—and set them outside the camp of Israel.

25 And Rahab the prostitute and her ancestral household and all who belonged to her, Joshua let live. She [her descendants] lives in the midst of Israel to this day for she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.