Mar 6, 2024


In today’s first reading we hear of people who are taking life and faith very seriously.

After a camping trek lasting forty years through Middle-Eastern desert, Moses and his followers reached the point where they could look down on the promised land and were ready to descend from the high ground to cross the Jordan and enter their God-given home. However at the end of the third chapter of Deuteronomy, immediately preceding today’s fourth chapter first reading, Moses is reminded by God that because of his earlier lack of trust he will not be permitted to enter the land.

Serious business.

Our refusal to trust the promises of God has consequences.

While Moses is not happy about this, angry at God and blaming the people, he seems to shift very quickly, not dwelling in anger but learning from his earlier mistakes and turning with even greater-than-before respect of God to speak seriously and positively to the people:

“Now, Israel, take notice of the laws and customs that I teach you today, and observe them, that you may have life and may enter and take possession of the land that the Lord the God of your fathers is giving you.
“… And indeed, what great nation is there that has its gods so near as the Lord our God is to us whenever we call to him?
“…But take care what you do and be on your guard. Do not forget the things your eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your heart all the days of your life; rather, tell them to your children and to your children’s children.’

While there clearly a powerful message in these blessing words of Moses, I’m even more inspired by his willingness to accept a “no” from God in answer to his prayer (to enter the Promised Land), and then, after a burst of anger and disappointment, learn from his mistake and move in a new direction in relationship with God.

Now that’s really worth taking seriously.


FFF IN THE CAFE…a chance to chat about your experience of God in your life. Send your name and the name of a cafe or bar to Scribble FFF on a table napkin, take a seat and wait.

Join these gatherings:

TODAY Wednesday 6 March 2024 10.30am. Zenders Cafe 44 Hopkins Rd, Hamilton  Christina

Thursday 7 March 2024 7.00am (& every Thursday) St Mary’s Church Whanganui – a scripture reflection.  Kate

Monday 11 March 2024  10.00am (& every Monday). Moku Cafe. Bush Inn Centre, Waimairi Road,  Christchurch. Trish

Monday 11 March 2024  5.00pm Devon on the Wharf, Devonport, 1 Queens Parade, Devonport.  Kate & Francesca.

Email me to add another:



  1. What a great lesson this reading is. Thank you Father John.

  2. It has taken me a long time to realize that sometimes God’s no is his answer and his no is the blessing I was not anticipating. We can become so conditioned to having God grant us the ‘desired of our heart’ that a no can be an unexpected and not always pleasant answer to our prayer.


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