Too much choice! (24-05-2022)
Reading (Joshua 24:14-18)
Choose Whom You Will Serve
“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods, for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight and preserved us in all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed. And the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.”
Yesterday, as I was watering my potatoes, I was thinking about what I would write for this week’s thought for the day. Growing potatoes is a fun thing to do; you buy seed potatoes, put them in the ground or, as in my case, a container, cover them over with soil and watch them grow. Each time green shoots appear above the soil you cover them over again with more soil and provided you keep them well watered they will continue to grow until you can’t cover them over any more and then you leave them to grow tall and flower. Then when the flowers have finished, you tip out your container and hidden in all the soil are lovely potatoes ready to eat.
The growing of potatoes is the easy bit, the difficult bit is knowing which variety of potato to grow. A few weeks ago when I went to the garden centre to get my seed potatoes I stood in front of an array of what felt like hundreds of different types of potato. In fact it must have been about forty different varieties. There were first earlies, second earlies and main crop and then within each of these were more choices to make. I stood for quite some while trying to decide on which to select. I wanted one first early and one second early. I phoned my mum and shared my dilemma with her. She made a suggestion for the second early but left the other one with me.
As I stood trying to make up my mind a gentlemen came over and he knew exactly which first early seed potato to select. He was confident about what he wanted to buy and so I thought, okay, if it’s good enough for him, I’ll try the same variety and hopefully it will be good enough for me too. So far the results look promising, but the proof will be what they taste like when I get to eat them later next month.
Many people are searching for something spiritual in their lives. They are faced with what seems like hundreds of choices. There are different faiths, different belief systems, and different ideologies and within each of these there is variety and different expressions. It can be very confusing. They may ask advice of someone that they trust or they may look around to see what others are doing, especially those who can talk about their own experience. The bible reading today comes right at the end of the book of Joshua, Joshua is addressing the people of Israel about the choices they need to make. He reminds them of the experiences they have all been through and he states very clearly what his choice is when he says “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
In the modern hymn, Speak, O Lord, which is a prayer in song form, the writers request of the Lord
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness That the light of Christ might be seen today In our acts of love and our deeds of faith
If we can achieve this, then those who are seeking, who see us will hopefully see something that they want to try, a God that they can believe in, can trust and come to love.
Prayer (Speak, O Lord, Keith Getty & Stuart Townend)
Speak, O Lord, as we come to You To receive the food of Your Holy Word Take Your truth, plant it deep in us Shape and fashion us in Your likeness That the light of Christ might be seen today In our acts of love and our deeds of faith Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us All Your purposes for Your glory