Monday, February 7, 2011

Epiphnay 6a - Deuteronomy 30:1-15

Deuteronomy 30:1-15
I’m blogging from Buckeye land where it is at least as cold as it has been in Fort Worth, TX. I’ve been here since Friday night and have driven through two blizzards in as many days. But then that is to be expected in Ohio in February, unlike the sunny south. (except when two cold weather football teams come to Jerry world) I’m interviewing Calvary’s next intern at Trinity Seminary, Columbus Ohio. I look forward to the week for a lot of reasons, but one of the real joys is worshipping with the community in the seminary chapel. This morning was no exception as we sung Marty Haugen’s alternate Morning Prayer setting “In the Morning I Will Sing.” The psalm prayer begins “God of all new beginnings, we give you thanks that last night was not our last night, that we have been given another day full of possibilities, filled with you and the life you offer to all.” See today I set before you life and death is how Moses said it to the people brought out of Egypt by the hand of the Lord. Last night was not your last night and equally important to remember, today is not yesterday. In the morning comes the choice between blessings and curses, to live as if the choices of our yesterdays limited the possibilities of all our tomorrows; or live the new day as if it were a first day and sing the life that makes all life possible. There was One who chose death for us, instead of us, so the Holy, Sacred life would be ours.  The prayer concludes “…be the driving force that moves all our thoughts and words and deeds, so that everything we do brings us closer to the day of your reign.” So last night was not your last and today is set before you as a gift. Choose life.


  1. Very positive and uplifting, though perhaps doesn't take on the "if your hearts turn shall perish" part of it. Still, I'll take positive any day!
    Reading your comment reminded me of something from Nouwen's "Return of the Prodigal Son." Perhaps it is that our Father's joy in our return is a daily affair?
    Anyway, Nouwen mentioned Deut. 30 in the context of the "Return", and it became one of those notions I stored away in my soul.
    "God says: `I am offering you life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life, then, so that you...may live in the love of Yahweh your God, obeying his voice, holding fast to him.' Indeed, it is a question of life or death. Do we accept the rejection of the world that imprisons us, or do we claim the freedom of the children of God? We must choose.
    Judas betrayed Jesus. Peter denied him. Both were lost children. Judas, no longer able to hold on to the truth that he remained God's child, hung himself. In terms of the prodigal son, he sold the sword of his sonship. Peter, in the midst of his despair, claimed it and returned with many tears. Judas chose death. Peter chose life. I realize that this choice is always before me. Constantly, I am tempted to wallow in my own lostness and lose touch with my original goodness, my God given humanity, my basic blessedness, and thus allow the powers of death to take charge. This happens over and over again whenever I say to myself: `I am no good. I am useless. I am unlovable. I am a nobody.'...
    But when God created man and woman in his own image, he saw that `it was very good,' and, despite the dark voices, no man or woman can ever change that."

  2. Moved it to my FB page. Hope many will "get it." Great message. Thanks. Have you seen Libby and Ellen?

  3. Yes. I'm sure Moses meant perish in a literal sense, but we also perish when we turn from the positive of choose life and as you wrote, the powers of death take charge.

  4. I have seen ellen and libby and will be having dinner with libby, kristianne and david tonight