Year of Scripture – Days 62 & 63

Deuteronomy 11 – Deuteronomy 13
Deuteronomy 14 – Deuteronomy 16

I’ve gotten a bit behind, sorry about that. I’ve been faithfully reading a few chapters each night, but I haven’t taken the time to post a few thoughts. Things are a bit crazy right now. My wife had a birthday. Our oldest has been home sick for the past three days. Tonight I’m flipping pancakes for our youth Pancake Dinner, and tomorrow is this little thing called Ash Wednesday. So . . . I’ve been busy. That’s life, and those are my excuses. Still doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about all of your.

On to some thoughts . . .

A little over a year ago, I started a diet. At that point is was more of medical emergency as I learn an cope with being a diabetic. Diet, exercise, a health coach, and all the other good stuff helped me to loose 30 pounds. Although this winter has been hard, and a few of those have crept back on, but I’m still down over 20 from where I started!

In the midst of getting started, my health coach gave simple advice, “If there are sweets in the house, get rid of them.” Sounds easy enough, except that I have two teenage boys and they wouldn’t tolerate “no sweets” all too well. Add to that, when I got started nearly a year ago, Easter was soon upon us. Of course of all the goodies swapped and traded between our two boys as they sorted through their Easter Baskets were one of my favorites, a caramel Cadbury Easter egg.

Soon I heard, “Here you should have this dad!” as one of the boys gave it to me. Temptation, now lay in my hands. Was I ever tempted. Truth be told, I never ate it. It sits on the top of my dresser. Shiny and gold, just waiting to be eaten. Serving as a daily reminder, I can do this! There have been times, when I thought I needed a pick me up, but I’ve resisted. Still its hard. Every day, as I am in and out of my dresser, it’s there. Waiting!

Now you may think that doesn’t have anything to do with the Israelites and our Biblical story, but I think it does. How often have we heard Moses and/or God give warning to the people, with words that essentially say,

You are about to enter a new land.
When you do, destroy everything.  
Do not leave their temples.  
Do not worship their gods.
Tear down their idols.  
Remove their men, women, children from your midst
What ever you do, remove it all!

I realize that is a huge paraphrase of many of the past chapters, but the point remains the same. If this is going to work, you have to be able to start fresh, and follow faithfully. For me, it’s like my health coach saying, “remove all the sweets.” Let’s face it, in the end what’s going to happen? One day I’m probably going to eat that Easter Egg. In much the same way, the Israelites are going to find themselves worshiping false gods, loosing sight of the God of our Salvation.

We will soon realize that despite the constant reminder given by Moses in this farewell speech, the temptation is too much. Sin creeps back in. The people goof up. Exile awaits. Then for us, (as much as it was for the people back then), as Ash Wednesday approaches, the need for a savior grows ever more present, each and every day!

Now one kind reminder:

Peace,
Pastor Bailey

Our next reading: Deuteronomy 17-20

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