“Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:14–15
Joshua’s challenge to the people of Israel is one of the more well known lines of scripture. We often let the familiar pass us by without sufficient thought. That is why it was good for me that this past week, this passage in Joshua was among those choose by the lectionary writers. It would be easy for me to simply nod in assertion to as for me and my household we will serve the Lord, while in the unconscious places not fully living into what I have assented to. How about you?
I love that Joshua makes the choice very explicit. He does not say “I know all of you serve the Lord, lets go do it?” Rather, he make no assumption; “if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you then choose for yourself this day whom you will serve.” Translation: “life is too short to play games;” “don’t say you serve God when in reality you serve false gods;” “be fully in, either way;” “don’t be lukewarm, be hot or cold, choose.” He was calling them and God is calling us to be intentional. He is calling us to be honest with him and with ourselves.
Who are you going to serve?
A few sentences after the passage above, the people respond “we will serve the LORD,” only to have Joshua respond, “you are not able to” — at least not in your own power. Even if we are intentional and aware, each of us will mess up from time to time. At these times, the grace of God floods in and says, “ok, get up, move forward, try again, you’ll get it right.” Following Jesus is a process, a way of life. Jesus promises that it is an extraordinary life, where we are completed and healed even as the broken places in the world are healed through us as we serve God in those places.
What are you doing to take stock so that you can choose?
Who do you allow to speak into your life, who can help you?
What ways are you seeking to serve the LORD?
I’d love to hear back from you as to how you are doing at this and how I can help.
Peace, hope and love, Doug
P.S. Before I send this, I wanted to remind you that we have a several opportunities coming up quickly to engage with each other, to have fun and to grow together. This Friday is our monthly Game Night — just show up at 7, bring a snack to share if you can and join folks in a variety of board games. Join us at 9am on Saturday for coffee, snacks and a wonderful workshop by Keith Ferrin on How to Love Studying the Bible. Finally, look around you with an idea of expecting. Advent is coming up and we are putting together pictures that tell the story of expecting. Be creative, draw a picture and send us a photo of that or take a picture. What are you expecting? The more pictures we receive, the better Advent Calendar we can make, the better resource that this will be for all of us.