Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25, Psalm 78:1-7, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Matthew 25:1-13
Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25
- This passage is sort of an inauguration scene for leadership in the community.
- V. 15: "choose this day whom you will serve . . . but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." Joshua puts it in their hands - serving is a choice. Who will you serve? We can serve lots of people/things/gods these days. What choice have you made? How can others see you choice by your actions?
- Joshua spends the rest of the passage trying to convince the people not to follow God because of how costly it will be and how demanding it will be. In a great reverse-psychology sort of way, this only gets the people begging, pleading to serve God. Wouldn't that be a great tool of evangelism? Telling people not to be Christians because it is too hard? Jesus, of course, sometimes uses these strategies in the gospels too.
- "I will open my mouth in a parable" - I hadn't realized that the word 'parable' appeared in the Old Testament. But it reminds us that in Jesus' day, the people would have related to Jesus' style, more, perhaps, than we are able to relate today.
- "We will not hide them from our children; we will tell to the coming generation" - I like these verses that convey a sense of the necessity to tell the story of a people, to make sure the history is known through time and generations. We have a tendency to forget whole chunks of our history, don't we, until we are repeating it!
- I'm not a big fan of this passage. Paul's aim here is to give hope by describing what will happen to the faithful ultimately.
- To me, this image, though, is too specific and detailed, and I'd rather just be ok with being unsure about what our ultimate end will bring us, other than into God's arms.
- What is your vision of the end - of your life, of the world? What is your vision of afterlife?
- Jesus reminds us that we have to make our own decisions about discipleship. It seems to me that the foolish maids were almost in a sense waiting to see how things would play out for the wise maids before they themselves would want to go to the party.
- Preparation. Jesus wants us to always live like this is it - our last day to live out in discipleship. Our society prizes living like we are immortal, doesn't it? How do you live? How would you have to change your normal patterns if today was your last day to be a disciple?