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Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 22

Track 1: The Songs of Zion

Lamentations 1:1-6
Lamentations 3:19-26
or Psalm 137
2 Timothy 1:1-14
Luke 17:5-10

From Lamentations we read:

How lonely sits the city
that once was full of people!

How like a widow she has become,
she that was great among the nations!

She that was a princess among the provinces
has become a vassal.

She weeps bitterly in the night,
with tears on her cheeks;

among all her lovers
she has no one to comfort her;

all her friends have dealt treacherously with her,
they have become her enemies.

Judah has gone into exile with suffering
and hard servitude;

she lives now among the nations,
and finds no resting place;

her pursuers have all overtaken her
in the midst of her distress.   ()

Jerusalem had been captured. The remnants of Judah were now in exile in Babylon. The psalmist wrote about the what it was like living in exile:

By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept,
when we remembered you, O Zion.

As for our harps, we hung them up
on the trees in the midst of that land.

For those who led us away captive asked us for a song,
and our oppressors called for mirth:
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”

How shall we sing the Lord‘S song
upon an alien soil.

If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
let my right hand forget its skill.

Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth
if I do not remember you,   (Psalm 137:1-6)

What is remarkable here is the question asked by the Babylonians captors:

For those who led us away captive asked us for a song,
and our oppressors called for mirth:
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”

The songs sung by the captives had touched them. The Babylonians heard something in the captives that they did not have. They wanted to hear more of the songs of Zion. Even though the captives felt oppressed, they were still able to sing with joy to the Lord.

Habakkuk, the prophet and poet wrote:

Though the fig tree does not blossom
    and no fruit is on the vines;
though the produce of the olive fails
    and the fields yield no food;
though the flock is cut off from the fold
    and there is no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
    I will exult in the God of my salvation.   (Habakkuk 3:17-18)

Faith in God does not eliminate hardships and trials. Things will happen that are out of our control, but we must continue to give thanks for God’s faithfulness in our lives. Despite how we may feel or the circumstance that we find ourselves in, let us reflect upon how God has been faithful to us in the past, .

The Apostle Paul wrote:

Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; persevere in prayer.   (Romans 12:12)

It is God who gives us hope, especially when we rejoice in him. Circumstances change, but God does not. Let us not fear the circumstances.

The Apostle Peter wrote:

Even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you,   (1 Peter 3:14-15)

The message of a true disciple of Jesus is hope. The hope is fueled by an inner joy. God has given us a fountain of hope. Jesus said that we would have in our hearts: “a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”

Do we know this Jesus? Do we know the One who feeds our soul? If so, let us reveal him to others through our joy. Like the Babylonian captors, they are looking for something that they have missed. We have the answer for them.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.   (Romans 15:13)

 

 

Track 2: Living by Faith

Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4
Psalm 37:1-10
2 Timothy 1:1-14
Luke 17:5-10

For almost all of the Old Testament prophets, biographical  information is given about them. We learn about hometown, occupation, or information concerning their tribe. This is not true for the prophet Habakkuk, however. We are told that he is a prophet, but little else. Nonetheless, we can gain an understanding of him by what he has written. Let us look at Habakkuk’s complaint against God:

Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
    and you will not listen?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
    and you will not save?
Why do you make me see wrongdoing
    and look at trouble?
Destruction and violence are before me;
    strife and contention arise.   (Habakkuk 1:2-3)

Habakkuk was a prophet. He was also an intercessor for the nation, He was concerned about the injustice he was observing

.I will stand at my watchpost
    and station myself on the rampart;
I will keep watch to see what he will say to me
    and what he[a] will answer concerning my complaint.   (Habakkuk 2:1)

Habakkuk was an intercessor and watchman. He stood watch over Jerusalem and Judah. He waited to hear from God and did not lose hope:

Then the Lord answered me and said:
Write the vision;
    make it plain on tablets,
    so that a runner may read it.
For there is still a vision for the appointed time;
    it speaks of the end and does not lie.
If it seems to tarry, wait for it;
    it will surely come; it will not delay.
Look at the proud!
    Their spirit is not right in them,
    but the righteous live by their faithfulness.   (Habakkuk 2:2-4)

We may look for God to do something to correct injustice. But he has not moved in the time that we expected. Many of us are seeing great injustices today. Perhaps ew have become frustrated and angry by it all?

God’s time is not always our time. But this much is true, God’s timing is perfect. He has an appointed time for everything.

The psalmist wrote:

Do not fret yourself because of evildoers;
do not be jealous of those who do wrong.

For they shall soon wither like the grass,
and like the green grass fade away.

Put your trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and feed on its riches.

Take delight in the Lord,
and he shall give you your heart’s desire.

Commit your way to the Lord and put your trust in him,
and he will bring it to pass.   (Psalm 37:1-5)

God has given us a vision. It will come to pass. But God requires that we write it down, at least on our hearts. We should be in agreement with him. We should pray faithfully for it to manifest. In fact, we are to pray it into existence. By prayer we speak the future into existence. Our prayers are most effective when we pray using God’s words. That is a form of prophecy.

God tells Habakkuk and he tells us that the vision will come. When it comes we will rejoice. In the meantime we must live by faith. “Faith is the assurance of things hopefor, the conviction of things not seen.”   (Hebrews 11:1) How do we feel when our faith pays off?

In today’s Gospel reading Jesus tells a curious parable:

“Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, `Come here at once and take your place at the table’? Would you not rather say to him, `Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? Do you thank the slave for doing what was comffective manded? So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, `We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!'”   (Luke 17:7-10)

To understand this parable we must understand that the subject of the parable is the slave and not the owner of the slave. The slave gets no extra credit by merely doing his duty.

When we help pray something into existence, we cannot take the glory for it. To God belongs the glory. We have only done our duty. The righteous live by faith. Doubt and fear belong to those who do not know who God is. He is the God who is is always faithful.

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Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 20

Track 1: Where Is Our Treasure?

Jeremiah 8:18-9:1
Psalm 79:1-9
1 Timothy 2:1-7
Luke 16:1-13

In today’s Gospel from Luke Jesus is telling a parable whose meaning has been disputed by some biblical scholars. Let us take a look at it and consider what Jesus is telling us.

Jesus said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, `What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.’ Then the manager said to himself, `What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.’ So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, `How much do you owe my master?’ He answered, `A hundred jugs of olive oil.’ He said to him, `Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.’ Then he asked another, `And how much do you owe?’ He replied, `A hundred containers of wheat.’ He said to him, `Take your bill and make it eighty.’   (Luke 16:1-7)

What is going on here? The manager has been fired. He is afraid of his future. Before he leavers his position he decides to take certain actions, to prepare for what is to come. It appears that he is feathering his nest, so to speak. What he is doing is wrong. It is the rich man’s  property, not his. He has no right to alter any monetary agreements which the owner has made.

Now, here comes the difficulty. It has to do with the way the rich man reacts to what his manager was doing while he was gone:

And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.   (Luke 16:8-9)

The interpretation is in question by some scholars. The difficulty is how the master commends his servant for his dishonesty. What is Jesus telling us? That we need to be as shrewd as worldly, dishonest people, That is what some scholars believe.  They Jesus is not commending dishonesty, but shrewdness. 

What may be missing here, bu some, is sarcasm. I do not believe that Jesus is telling us that we need to be shrewd as the world. We are children of the light and have no need for darkness. Jesus is our wisdom. We are guided by the Holy Spirit.

What I believe Jesus is telling us has to do with the phrase “eternal home.” The shrewd servant was concerned about being received in people’s homes if he became broke. Those homes are temporary. What is important is to which eternal home he will be received in when he dies. It is clear from the parable Jesus told of Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) that hell will be the eternal home of the shrewd servant,

In his Sermon on the Mount Jesus said:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.   (Matthew 6:19-21)

The shrewd servant did not know the treasures of God. He was relying on worldly treasures to save him. It the end of today’s parable Jesus goes on to say:

“Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”   (Luke 16:10-13)

Where are our treasure stored? And who is our master? Is it Jesus or wealth? Wealth is not necessarily bad, but it cannot be our master. That was the problem of the shrewd servant. How shrewd is anyone who serves the wrong master? Jesus is the only one who provides the way to eternal life in heaven with him. If we have not given our heart to him, now is the time.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.   (Matthew 6:21)

 

 

Track 2: False Balances

Amos 8:4-7
Psalm 113
1 Timothy 2:1-7
Luke 16:1-13

God spoke through the Prophet Amos:

Hear this, you that trample on the needy,
and bring to ruin the poor of the land,

saying, “When will the new moon be over
so that we may sell grain;

and the sabbath,
so that we may offer wheat for sale?

We will make the ephah small and the shekel great,
and practice deceit with false balances,

buying the poor for silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals,
and selling the sweepings of the wheat.”

The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob:

Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.    (Amos 8:4-7)

Greedy people were cheating when selling goods to others. They were using false balances and their lives were out of balance. God was secondary to everything that they did. The people they were cheating were not even part of their lives, except for their moneymaking schemes.

They paid lip service to Judaism, but their interests were in making money anyway they could, including. The Sabbath rest which God provided was just interfering with their business. They were too busy to rest.

How do we stack up against them today? Jesus said:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”   (Matthew 11:28-39)

Those who used false balances in the of Amos did not want to be yoked to God. They wanted no yoke at all, just the freedom to do whatever they pleased without any consequences. They did not want to serve God, only their ill gotten gain.

In today’s Gospel Jesus said:

No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.  (Luke 16:13)

There is no rest in the service of wealth. It is all consuming. It impoverishes the soul. Its burden can become overwhelming. Sadly, for many, this lesson is learned too late, when there is little life left.

The psalmist wrote:

The Lord is high above all nations,
and his glory above the heavens.

Who is like the Lord our God, who sits enthroned on high
but stoops to behold the heavens and the earth?

He takes up the weak out of the dust
and lifts up the poor from the ashes.   (Psalm 113:4-6

God is offering us a taste of his glory through our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Do we want to substitute his heavenly riches with temporal wealth that leads to spiritual poverty and death?

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Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 19

Track 1: A Time of Celebration

Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28
Psalm 14
1 Timothy 1:12-17
Luke 15:1-10

In today’s Gospel we have these wonderful stories of celebration:

All the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to Jesus. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, `Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.   ()

This may be age specific, but I can really relate to the second parable Jesus told:

“Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, `Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”   ()

I rejoice when I find my wallet or car keys, but that is such small potatoes. Can you imagine the celebration that go on in heaven? God’s love is to be celebrated.

When we get together with family and friends, we often celebrate our love with food and drink. But there is even greater celebration:

For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.   (Romans 14:17)

Celebrations help us to recall the goodness of God. They carry us through the difficulties of this life. God appointed days of celebration for Israel: Passover, First Fruits, Pentecost, Feast of Tabernacles. These were feast days for both God and his people. His people, which includes us, still celebrate them. The focus is on food and drink, but with a greater focus on the love and provisions of God. They talk about the past, but they prophetically to a brighter future, a glorious future.

The psalmist wrote:

You have turned my mourning into dancing;
    you have taken off my sackcloth
    and clothed me with joy,
so that my soul[c] may praise you and not be silent.
    Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.   (Psalm 30:11-12)

Each day can be  celebration for us when we commune with God. The psalmist wrote:

This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it.   (Psalm 118:24)

Today is a day for celebration by those who have found the kingdom of God. It might, in some ways be challenging for us. Jesus said:

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.   (John 16:33 KJV)

From Nehemiah we read:

Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord, and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”   (Nehemiah 8:10)

That was an earthly celebration of the Kingdom. In The Book Revelation we have a heavenly one:

And I heard something that sounded like a huge crowd, like rushing water and powerful thunder. They said,

“Hallelujah! The Lord our God, the Almighty,
exercised his royal power!
Let us rejoice and celebrate, and give him the glory,
for the wedding day of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
She was given fine, pure white linen to wear,
for the fine linen is the saints’ acts of justice.”   (Revelation 19:6-8)

We do not want to miss this one!

 

Track 2: Patience and Believing

Exodus 32:7-14
Psalm 51:1-11
1 Timothy 1:12-17
Luke 15:1-10

Through Mose, God had rescued Israel from captivity in Egypt with great signs and wonders. He had parted the Red Sea so his people could walk over on dry ground, releasing the water to drown Pharaoh and his chasing chariots. Let us now read, in astonishment, what followed :

The Lord said to Moses, “Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely; they have been quick to turn aside from the way that I commanded them; they have cast for themselves an image of a calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’ ”   (Exodus 32:7-8)

How could this have happened? Mose was up on the mountain of God for an extended time and the Israelites were loosing patience. So they took matters into their own hands and, apparently forgot all the great miracles had done to set them free. They said:

“These are our gods who brought us up out of the land of Egypt!”

What possible can we learn from their reactions? None of us would have been that foolish. Right?

What about a great nation which was conceived and planned by God? He blessed it with wise leaders who were committed to his plan. He awoke the people through a great nationwide revival called the Great Awakened. it took great patience and determination to follow through God’s plan. It took courage and faith.

What are the people of this nation saying and believing now? Have they dismissed their inheritance and distorted their narrative of history? Are some of then not saying?

These are the gods we now follow and believe in: division, strife, accusations, class warfare, abortion, transgenderism, etc.

God has been removed from the culture. He has been taken out of our schools. We are told what to think and believe by those who are skillful in telling us lies. We live in an age of deception. What is our primary source of information and belief? Is it spiritual  or secular:

The secular mind is capable of thinking and believing anything, no matter the level of education. Reading from Romans:

Since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to an unfit mind and to do things that should not be done. They were filled with every kind of injustice, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious toward parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.   (Romans 1:28-31)

God still loves us and wants to set us straight. Paul writes:

Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.   (Romans 12:2-3)

By the grace of God, Paul preached a Gospel that, at one time, he condemned:

The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners– of whom I am the foremost. But for that very reason I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example to those who would come to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

This is what Paul needed, a transformed mind. How about any of us? We must be willing to hear God’s Word more than the false gods of this age. It may be a struggle to do so, but the reward is eternal life. We have the examples of those who have gone before us:

Reading from Hebrews:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.   (Hebrews 12:1-3)

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Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 18

Track 1: The Potter’s House

Jeremiah 18:1-11
Psalm 139:1-5, 12-17
Philemon 1-21
Luke 14:25-33

We have all been created in the image of God, but are all not to be the same. God has given us various gifts and talents. He has a distinct vision and purpose for each of us. He is a God of variety.

Today, let us look at God as a potter. We have this analogy in today’s reading from Jeremiah:

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Come, go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him.   (Jeremiah 18:1-4)

The psalmist wrote:

Lord, you have searched me out and known me;
you know my sitting down and my rising up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.

You trace my journeys and my resting-places
and are acquainted with all my ways.

Indeed, there is not a word on my lips,
but you, O Lord, know it altogether.

You press upon me behind and before
and lay your hand upon me.   (Psalm 139:1-4)

We are given a picture of God shaping us as a potter would has clay. The potter has expectations. God had expectations for Israel. but Israel had gone its own way. Again, reading from Jeremiah:

Then the word of the Lord came to me: Can I not do with you, O house of Israel, just as this potter has done? says the Lord. Just like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.   (Jeremiah 18:5-6)

Some times the potter has to brake the vessel he is working in order to reshape it into what he desires for it. This can be traumatic for those of us who refuse to trust God and work together with him.

Do we want to become the vessel God has in mind of us? Do we want to become the best we can be? Maybe we might want a different life that  would not be pleasing to God.

In today’s Gospel reading we have this radical statement of Jesus:

Now large crowds were traveling with Jesus; and he turned and said to them, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.   (Luke 14:25-33)

Clearly, Jesus is using hyperbola to make his point. What is his point? In order for us to accept the life he has for us we must be will to give up the old life which did not include him. But his new life for us is not without costs. Are we willing to put ourselves in his hands regardless of the costs? Do the rewards of true discipleship outweigh the costs.

Jesus said:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.   (John 10:10)

Satan has a counterfeit life for us, but it ultimately leads to destruction.

What about hating ones family? Sometimes family can place expectations on us that really do not match our interests and gifts. We remember there was a time when the family of Jesus wanted him to abandon his ministry and come home. To truly become who we are and what God meant us to be, we must follow his leadings more than anyone else, no matter who they are.

The good news is that God wants the very best for us:

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.   (Jeremiah 29:11)

How can we assist God as he carries out his plan for us? How do we become the vessel he intends for us? I am reminded of this old hymn:

Have Thine own way LordHave Thine own wayThou art the potter I am the clayMold me and make me after Thy willWhile I am waiting yielded and still

We need to remember the potter’s house.

 

Track 2: Choose Life

Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Psalm 1
Philemon 1-21
Luke 14:25-33

It has been said that our lives are determined by a series of choices that we make. Perhaps this is true, at least in part. There is an underlying choice, however, which influences all of those choices.

The nation of Israel was facing a choice. Israel was, at last, prepared to enter into the promised land. Mose called all the people together before him:

Moses said to all Israel the words which the Lord commanded him, “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you do not hear, but are led astray to bow down to other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”   (Deuteronomy 30:15-20)

What lay ahead of Israel was either blessings or curses. It all depended on whom they would worship and serve. Would that be the God who rescued them from slavery from Egypt or some false god Satan designed to lead them astray. It was a life or death situation for them. Moses implored them to choose life.

In today’s Gospel reading we have this stark saying of Jesus:

“Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.   (Luke 14:26-27)

In some ways he seems to echo Moses. What is Jesus saying? Clearly, he is using hyperbola. Jesus is saying that who we love the most will determine our destiny. We are facing a life and death situation, as was Israel. Whom will we serve? Whom or what will we worship? One choice leads to an abundant life. Jesus said:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.   (John 10:10)

(This has little to do with the so called prosperity gospel. Rather it is about experiencing a taste of God’s kingdom on earth: righteousness, peace, and joy.)

The other choice leads to a mere existence which soon passes away. The psalmist wrote:

Happy are they who have not walked in the counsel of the wicked,
nor lingered in the way of sinners,
nor sat in the seats of the scornful!

Their delight is in the law of the Lord,
and they meditate on his law day and night.

They are like trees planted by streams of water,
bearing fruit in due season, with leaves that do not wither;
everything they do shall prosper.

It is not so with the wicked;
they are like chaff which the wind blows away.  (Psalm 1:1-4)

We experience many choices in our lives. How we face them will depend on the choice we made concerning Jesus. He will determine our direction and ultimate destination. We remember this well known question from his disciple Thomas:

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.   (John 14:5-6)

Jesus has already made the most difficult choice that anyone could make. He chose to die on a cruel cross to wash away all our sins. What is the choice we make for him?

 

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