The Ottawa people (Odawa), the name meaning, “to trade,” are a First Nations people. The name Trader was extended to the Ottawa because they were known as intertribal traders and barterers. This office continued as Europeans and others arrived exploring the land. The Ottawa were mediators, easily moving among and between tribes—and, then, the European settlers that eventually (inevitably?) came through.
We live on Ottawa Ave., a short block, the only one in our city so named. It is curved, the outlet to the north tagged by another name. Our house is nestled in the crook of the curve where Ottawa ends and the next street begins. Even many of those who have grown up in our city do not know where our street is. But, if you live in our neighborhood, you know that it bypasses an often-congested four-way stop for access to the junior high directly behind us, and the high school just beyond it.
Moses, too, was placed in the crook of situation, a bypass between the Israelite people and the ruler of Egypt. He acted as mediator and translator for God to the Israelites as to Pharaoh. One such message given through Moses was God’s intent that Israel be a Kingdom of priests representing God’s glory to all the other nations. But, Moses’ glory faded, the law—the letter of the law—only killing. But, the very Spirit of God, by the love and sacrifice of Jesus, is now given to us, powerful. If there was glory—evidence of God’s presence—in Moses’ ministry of the first covenant, immeasurable is the glorious ministry of justification. (2 Cor 3:9). We are justified and just to be present—glorified, evidence of God’s presence—right where we are, in the crook on Ottawa Ave.
Holy God, we live and dwell on this bypass, priests among the nations. I pray you give our family a new sense of the Spirit’s power, your glory evidenced in our home, in our neighborhood, our town and among the nations. Amen, y, Amen.