Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pentecost 11

I worshiped at an undisclosed WI church today. Today's readings: Psalm 34, Joshua 24:1-18 (sermon text), Ephesians 5:6-21, and John 6:51-69. I also heard the first children's sermon since going to my grandparents' church around 7 years ago.

We need "heroes of the faith," models of a life of trust in God. One such man was Joshua, a leader appointed by God during a crucial, difficult time. As the successor of Moses, his task was even harder: he had to enter the Promised Land; to dethrone pagan peoples, false gods, and outnumbering enemies; how to do it? Answer: God's promise to him was "I will never leave you or forsake you . . . do not let this book of the Law depart from your mouth." God being with you, you trusting in God, obviates any fear of your enemies.

Joshua followed God's leading because he knew that God was faithful to fulfill His promises. Now, in our text, he addressed the people he led. Would they be faithful? Or apostate? Really no choice here - obviously the better choice is to serve the One who lives and saves! Obvious, yes, but easy, no. Then and now, many serve other gods - making an object the most important thing in your life. Examples: money, possessions, power, pleasure, technology, self. Gods of wood and stone? Not anymore. But they're still false gods.

The question remains for each of you who read this: Whom will you serve? Be not afraid to repeat Joshua 24:15. Look to the Source, Jesus ("YHWH saves"), the only One who can save - and has saved - you who believe in Him! Do not deny that you have sinned; otherwise you lie to God's face. Receive the One into your being who forgives all your sins.

Soli Deo gloria.

No comments: