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Easily Accessible

Easily Accessible

12 March 2010

Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 19-21; Galatians 3

Scripture:

1 When God, your God, throws the nations out of the country that God, your God, is giving you and you settle down in their cities and houses, 2 you are to set aside three easily accessible cities in the land that God, your God, is giving you as your very own. 3 Divide your land into thirds, this land that God, your God, is giving you to possess, and build roads to the towns so that anyone who accidentally kills another can flee there. (Deuteronomy 19:1-3 MSG)

The Bible concept of “Cities of Refuge” has always appealed to me. God told the Israelites to designate, from among the cities of the Levites and priests, three cities on each side of the Jordan as Cities of Refuge. These cities were to be easily accessible, they were to offer refuge to the fugitive, and they were to be fair and just in judgment. The leaders and citizens of the Cities of Refuge made room for people from other tribes to come and live among them, and they protected the fugitives from the “Avenger of Blood” even at their own risk.

I’ve always thought that churches should be “Cities of Refuge.” So many people are fugitives – pursued by their past, by their mistakes, by the wrongs of others, by disappointments and failures and hopelessness.

I want to be a citizen of a City of Refuge. I love the picture of “building roads” to our Cities of Refuge – removing the obstacles so people can easily get to us and find their way in. I want us to be an easily accessible, caring community that makes room for and protects fugitives; a caring community that is characterized by love, acceptance, and forgiveness.

Prayer:

Father, Thank you for giving us a picture of a caring community that is accepting, nurturing, protecting, and providing towards those who are living as fugitives from the destroyer. Help us in our churches and our circles of relationships to be modern Cities of Refuge. Help us practice our faith in a way that makes us easily accessible. Amen.

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