As I grow older, I am reminded often that I resemble my paternal grandmother in an uncanny way. I have always known that genetically I am my father’s child, but lately comments like “Della Tefinia will never be dead as long as you walk the earth” come my way!
I realize that I do resemble my grandmother and I am like her in many ways. She loved to cook and was an outstanding one. I remember most the things she made that I liked, but I’m sure there were many others – like her cole slaw, macaroni n’hamburger, her chocolate cream pie and orange chiffon cake. YUM! But, there were other ways I am like her also – not just my love for cooking. She was a deeply spiritual woman – she and my grandfather were founding members of this congregation in the 1930’s. I have been told that she rose early every morning around 5am to spend time in prayer before starting her day. She could get “blessed” and dance a joyful jig – which is difficult for me to picture because she was basically a very quiet and reserved lady. Maybe my bent toward the spiritual side of life at an early age came from her. She died at the ripe old age of 89 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. I loved my grandmother and am proud to be compared to her.
There was only one person that Jesus compared himself to during his life here on earth – that person was Moses. In Chapter 18 of Deuteronomy, verses 15-19 Moses is speaking to Israel about a Prophet like him that would come later. Of course many prophets followed Moses such as Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah etc; but Moses’ prophecy found its fulfillment in Jesus Christ. Jesus said in John 5:46 “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.” Peter in his sermon recorded in Acts 3 quotes Moses’ prophecy as being fulfilled in Jesus in verses 22-24.
To the religious Jews of Jesus’ time, no one was greater than Moses. Through Moses God had given them the Law and their whole religious system was transmitted through him. But, they were also aware that God said He would send another Prophet like Moses. So when the Pharisees asked John the Baptist whether he was “the Prophet” (John 1:21) they were referring to this scripture in Deuteronomy.
As Moses’ destiny was to give the Old Covenant after leading God’s people out of the bondage of Egypt, Jesus destiny was to bring the New Covenant to God’s people who come out of the bondage of this world. John 1:17 states “For the Law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ”. The writer of Hebrews tells us that Christ became the Mediator of a “better covenant”. (Hebrews 8:6) Jesus as “the Prophet” came to fulfill the requirements of the Old Covenant so that a New Covenant could be established between God and man.
As so often happens in biblical history, a foreshadowing occurs pointing forward to what is coming later. Moses was that foreshadowing pointing forward to Jesus Christ.
My grandmother, Della, could not have imagined that her granddaughter would not only make her way back to Murphysboro after decades in the west, but be part of the ministry staff of the same church that she and grandpa helped to establish. My Dad’s little sister, Evelyn Gregersen, also made her way back to Murphysboro to establish Murphysboro Christian Academy. I have a rich heritage in this church and I hope that my life can leave an imprint on its history as well.
Lord, help us to fulfill our destiny, leaving an imprint of our lives on this earth. But most of all, let us aspire to be compared to You. You are the Giver of our lives, the Creator of our days, the Inspiration that motivates our actions. Amen and Amen!