Words from the Weary Wilderness - Lenten Journey Day 37
Day Thirty-Seven Wednesday of Holy Week, April 13
Called to Choose Life
Read: Deuteronomy 30:11-20
Exhortation to Choose Life
11 Surely, this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, “Who will go up to heaven for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?” 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?” 14 No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe.
15 See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity. 16 If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God[a] that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away and you do not hear, but are led astray to bow down to other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, 20 loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
Today’s Word from the Weary Wilderness: Choose life so that you and your descendants may live… (Deuteronomy 30:19b)
Reflection: This is one of my favorite admonitions in scripture, to “choose life.” This scripture has been used by many, for multiple purposes and campaigns. In recent times, it has come to be associated with choosing birth over abortion. I would like to move away from that use of it for a moment, to just talk about “choosing life” as a general spiritual practice. To me, choosing life is about making faithful decisions that give God an opportunity to be involved. It means not shutting out people or options. Giving God space to be God … that’s a beautiful posture for a human being to take. Choosing life is ancient wisdom, and I see that Jesus also practiced this. Everywhere he went, he chose relationships. He took opportunities to allow God to be glorified as people were transformed. Do you “choose life” in your daily work and spiritual practices? Think of an example of a time that you have given God an opportunity to work, instead of drawing your own conclusions. Did you see blessings flow from your obedience?
Prayer: God of the Weary Wilderness, we confess this Holy Week that we do not always choose life. Sometimes we practice cut-off; sometimes we intentionally choose to turn away from people or possibilities. Forgive us, and remind us that we do not have to do any work alone. Choosing life is choosing to be a partner with you as you do amazing things in this world. Amen.
Blessings of Peace and Health,
Rev. Beverly B. Coppley
& Chief Missional Strategist