Choosing Life

Many of my friends from church have often heard me talk about a Bible commentary series entitled Feasting on the Word.  There are also daily meditation books based on this series entitled Daily Feast: Meditations from Feasting on the Word.

Oftentimes when preparing a sermon, I come across bits and pieces from the commentaries that I can’t say any better than the author already has. So with that in mind, here is a selection from Brett Younger’s* homiletical perspective on the Book of Deuteronomy 30:15-20 in which Moses (before his death and subsequent transfer of leadership to Joshua) is laying out for the people what their options are as they prepare to enter the Promised Land, i.e. choosing life or choosing death.

(In my humble opinion) Brett’s words are relevant for all of us, church-going or not.

Choosing life means, “Love God with all your heart, mind, and soul. Give to the poor. Fight for justice. Care for the hurting. Treat others fairly. Share food with the hungry.

Learn things you have told yourself you would never learn. Enjoy simple things. Play with children. Laugh often, long, and loud. Cry when it is time to cry. Be patient with your own imperfections as well as the imperfections of others. Celebrate sex with the one to whom you have given your life. Surround yourself with what you love-whether it is family, friends, pets, music, nature or silence.

Walk around the block. Turn off the television. Get together with your friends. Invite a stranger to lunch or dinner. Clean out a drawer. Read a book of poetry. Quit doing what is not worth your time. Do something so someone else will not have to. Give money to a cause you care about. Stop arguing. Apologize to someone, even if it was mostly his/her fault. Forgive someone, even if he/she does not deserve it. Have patience. Stop having patience when it is time to tell the truth. Figure out what you hope for and live with that hope.”

And specifically for my church-going friends…”Worship with all your heart. Pray genuinely. Love your church. Believe that God loves you. Remember the stories of Jesus. See Christ in the people around you. Share God’s love with someone who has forgotten it. Delight in God’s good gifts. See that all of life is holy. Open your heart to the Spirit. Search for something deeper and better than your own comfort. Live in the joy beneath it all. Let God make your life wonderful!”

I will say it again; I couldn’t have said or summed it up any better. Thank you Brett Younger and Feasting on the Word.  

Peace, Leigh+

* Brett Younger is an Associate Professor of Preaching at the McAffee School of Theology at Mercer University in Atlanta, GA

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