It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Choice and Commitment to that Choice, Reflection on Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25; Psalm 78:1-7

In last week's reading from Joshua, they were poised to enter Canaan, their past and future land. We've skipped to the end of the book. They have taken possession of the land and allocated it among the tribes.

They are divided into tribes, family groups, but they are one people who worship one God.

In this week's reading, Joshua has assembled all the tribes. He reminds them of how God has led them here.

"Make up your mind today," Joshua tells them. "Decide whether you are going to follow God or choose other gods."

Each person, each family, each leader has to make a choice. Yet, the choice involves the entire community. They have shared a history, their present situation depends on each other's decision, and their future will be affected by not only what each one does but also on what is important to their neighbors. John Donne was right.

Lectio Divina: Joshua 24:14-15

Following God's will is not always easy. We are often tempted to do things that seem more immediately rewarding. The people meeting with Joshua that day had a history of voicing allegiance then backsliding.

Scholars think now that this portion of the book of Joshua was written after exile to help Israel to understand why they had lost their nation.

We are troubled by verse 19. Can it be that God will not forgive us? One reading is that Joshua's words are to remind us that sin does have consequences. We should consider these consequences before we act.

But, as we read more and more of the Bible, we are reassured that God continues to reach out to us, and, yes, forgive us more times than we deserve.

Joshua asks them to make a commitment. A commitment is more than a single promise at a single point in time. A commitment is a change in the rest of our lives.

Lectio Divina: Joshua 24:23-24

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