Love sound bite scripture that pops up in email, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” So the longer version of the whole scripture from Joshua is VERY important, it’s about throwing away false idols and fearing the Lord, it’s about remembering how the Lord brought the people to the promised lands, and how He is a jealous God. It’s about the grumbling they did that kept them wandering, and it’s about promises made. Joshua, before he died, well over 100yrs old, had them make a promise to serve the Lord over ALL the false idols.
We have false idols too, including ourselves and our perceived worlds. We worship our schedules and desires, we want what we want when we want it! The Lord has given us brains and skills to serve, but He also wants us to be sheep, yes, and be led. Yes, bear fruit, but let God place the fruit. Be His and be humble servants.
I loved running the science station at a kid’s fest yesterday, oh fun. Made foaming elephant toothpaste and oobleck and SLIME!!!! One recurring observation is that the kids get extra excited when they can get their parents to join in – to feel the slime or participate in some way. One kid said “my mom never lets us do this” – so I invited mom to join in too! Oh the scared looks on the parents, loved it. Oh the joy on the kids’ faces. Oh the good messy fun. Isn’t that fitting for God wants us to have faith like a child to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and we are to enjoy the joy of the moment. If we are stuck in our agendas, we won’t see the sunset or the sunrise and know that we were gifted another day. We won’t know the path unless we look for the Way.
We can serve the Lord with our skills – and in doing so, if we can give moments that give memories to people and families, then we are finding the niche that is increasingly hard for them to find. If you go to an amusement park or pumpkin patch, hordes of families, herds of sheep just wanting to be together. Church can be this way too – and we do have the resources, we just have to direct them. I took my own moment to be a sheep too, and go see the actual sheep, get some popcorn and enjoy some cider (I missed the smores, rats), and to be with my church family. North, South, East and West, as long as we are anchored (which was on the t-shirt I wore yesterday) I believe that we all can be led to serve wherever the Lord fits us in! Be portable and flexible.
The evening fell so quickly but brought me many helpers to clean up in the dark while we watched a brilliant sunset. I was seeing it over my shoulder, but spent the last moments with teenagers. One said “oh no my mom is coming” – so I said “come here mom”, and handed her a slime cup. Good times! Then it was my time to go.
A helper made me stop and look at the sunset. Yes, we need to pause our agendas and choose to see the beauty of the Lord in all. The sun will set and rise, so as for me and my eyes, I will look for the Lord! I will try to remember that I want to be His sheep. Lead on…
We are all children of God.
“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Then the people answered, “Far be it from us to forsake the Lord to serve other gods! It was the Lord our God himself who brought us and our parents up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled. And the Lord drove out before us all the nations, including the Amorites, who lived in the land. We too will serve the Lord, because he is our God.”
Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the Lord. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins. If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, he will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after he has been good to you.”
But the people said to Joshua, “No! We will serve the Lord.”
Then Joshua said, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the Lord.”
“Yes, we are witnesses,” they replied.
“Now then,” said Joshua, “throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.”
And the people said to Joshua, “We will serve the Lord our God and obey him.”
On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people, and there at Shechem he reaffirmed for them decrees and laws. And Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the Lord.
“See!” he said to all the people. “This stone will be a witness against us. It has heard all the words the Lord has said to us. It will be a witness against you if you are untrue to your God.”
Then Joshua dismissed the people, each to their own inheritance.