Monday, December 29, 2014

A Thought for Monday 29 December 2014

“All of you stand today before the Lord your God … that you may enter into covenant with the Lord your God, and into His oath which the Lord your God makes with you today, that He may establish you as a people for Himself and that He may be God to you just as He has spoken to you and just as He has sworn to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”  Deuteronomy 29:10-13 NKJV

Sometimes we make too much of New Year’s resolutions and not enough of daily resolutions in our prayers.  It is easy to go before The Lord in prayer to offer petitions and express personal desires, but it is much more challenging to stand before The Lord daily and offer to Him our hearts and minds and souls.  Yet this is what Moses is asking of the people of Israel before they enter into the Promised Land.

Time and again Moses reminded Israel of the goodness of the Land they would enter and how easily they would be enticed not only by the religious practices of those who already occupied the Land, but also by the bounty that the Land would already supply to them: “cities you did not build, houses full of all good things which you did not fill, hewn-out wells you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees you did not plant” (Deut 6:11).

Moses knew – just as surely as The Lord had given him sight to see – that it is too easy to become complacent when all the things we need are already provided for us.  Soon we get a sense of entitlement and then begin to take everything (even our faith) for granted when things become too “easy”.

So it is a necessary practice to renew ourselves to The Lord’s Covenant daily as part of our prayers and devotions, to contemplate what is being asked of us through the Written Word, and to consider how we will act as The Lord’s agents through our work.  It is not an easy task, of course, because through serious contemplation we can also see our need to confess our failures from the days before.  Yet a renewal means that we are aware of our failures and resolve to do better – long before we get so full of ourselves that we take worship, The Lord, the Covenant, our neighbors, and our faith for granted.

Let us prepare for the New Year with a new resolve; a resolve to become a part of the building UP – rather than the tearing DOWN (yes, if you do not actively support the Church with your prayers and your presence, you are actively engaged in the tearing down of the Church.  Sorry to be so blunt) – of the Holy Church, for no one will share the Gospel apart from the Church.  This is who we are, what we have been commissioned to do, what we vowed to do when we joined the Church.  And the sooner we realize the privilege (rather than a burden) of doing so, the sooner we can believe that what we do really does matter – to the Church, to our neighbors, and to The Lord.



No comments: