There is something sacred about the gathering of kin, whether it be around campfires or couches or tables full of food. Inevitably, stories are shared. Indeed, this is the heartbeat of our gatherings, is it not? Storytelling helps us remember who we are, where we’ve come from, who came before...
God, may we always remember that you are the author of our story. Embolden us to serve you well. Amen.
Although God miraculously has brought the Israelites into the Promised Land, some continue to worship foreign gods. Joshua tells them that they must choose whom they will serve and warns of the dangers of unfaithfulness. After they declare that they will follow God, Joshua reminds them of the laws given by God. The psalmist affirms the importance of this kind of reminder; telling the story of God’s faithfulness in the past encourages us in the present. The New Testament readings address Christ’s return. The Thessalonians are concerned that those who have died might miss the final resurrection, but Paul assures them that this will not be the case. Jesus tells a parable to highlight the fact that his return will be unexpected, so we should always be ready.
Read Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25. We are prone to wander. When have you failed to keep promises you have made to God?Read Psalm 78:1-7. How do you put your hope in God? What are you doing to awaken faith in the next generation?Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. How does the promise of the “coming of the Lord” provide hope when present authorities seem to have a stranglehold? How does the notion that the coming Lord will hold us all accountable encourage you?Read Matthew 25:1-13. How do you daily choose your faith? How do you keep awake?
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