A familiar cultural proverb claims the more things change, the more things stay the same.” The ancient people of God who occupied the Promised Land longed for the blessings of God’s providence, just as we post-modern people of God do. They lived in a world every bit as religiously diverse and multi-cultural as ours; they faced the same temptations of idolatry and thus, the same challenges to renewed faithfulness to God’s call.
Though the people who publicly issue God’s call change from generation to generation-Hannah, Eli, Esther, Micah, Mary, Paul, your pastor-the message of God’s call and our life-giving response remain the same choice offered today by Joshua: “Put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.” (verse14)
Called to new life in baptism, we are called to choose this day (“daily repentance” as Luther puts it in his Small Catechism) to renounce the persistent idolatry of self-serving and receive the abundant life Jesus promises those who take up his cross of self-giving love for God and neighbour.
Eternal God, guide us in our daily pilgrimage that when we come to a fork in the road we may choose the faithful way that promises peace and joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. — PL