Today’s devotional is offered by Chris Aho.
“…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 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.”
– Joshua 24.15
Everyone has a story. Every one of us has a history, an identity, and a narrative that helps us navigate the world.
Some of us identify with a school or a ball team, while others avoid sports altogether.
Some of us feel tied to where we are from, while others have a hard time telling if we are from anywhere.
Some of us find our surest identity through our work, while others go to work just get home at the end of the day.
Some of us are Republicans. Some of us are Democrats. Some of us are Independent. Some of us are Other. And the rest do not care.
But all of us have a story, a set of stories, or at least a handful of plot points, that we rely upon to help us understand who we are. These stories that make up our identity are important because they shape how we see the world, how we interact with the world, and therefore, how we see God and God at work in our world.
I name this because, on the Advent and Christmas journey we have taken through these devotional readings, we have added a plot point. Four weeks ago, we added these devotionals to our lives. I hope the reason was to grow closer to God and allow God’s story, love, and presence, to take root in a new way. We started an Advent project because we knew it would help us grow closer to the Lord and one another if we took a few minutes each day and found a way to be influenced by God’s story, as expressed by our brothers and sisters in Christ. These devotionals have helped us grow in our preparation for the season of Christmas. They have also helped us grow in our faith during this season. And finally, they have helped us grow in our appreciation for one another.
In every way, these daily devotionals were an attempt to help into a story and identity connected closely to the Lord. These devotional thoughts were designed to help us live by the narrative that God has for us, rather than the ones given to us by social media, retail companies, politicians, or even the places of business and work we give so much of our lives to. These devotionals help us live into God’s story by helping us take time each day to read, reflect, and respond. I hope that these four weeks have helped you grow closer to the Lord and align your life with God’s love and presence.
Though we have reached the end of this season’s devotional project, the work is not done. There are still other stories that are demanding our time, energy, thoughts, and life. But I hope that by taking time together each day, we have prepared ourselves to choose like Joshua implored the Israelites to choose…
Choose for yourself this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
My prayer for all of us today is that the time we have taken now will help us follow the Lord more faithfully for each day that is to come.
Thank you for sharing this journey. I pray we realize that it has only just begun.