Pastoral Relief and Retreat

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Wethersfield, CT, United States
I am Pastor at Poquonock Community Church, Congregational (CCCC) in Windsor, CT. My wife Jama and I live in Wetherfield, CT. We'd like to invite you to Terre Haute -- High Ground -- That's what Jama and I call the retreat space on our property. We offer free intentional get-away retreats. We'll feed you and house you and give you space to be with the Lord. All are welcome; no questions asked. This blog is my daily devotional journal. I write it because it is so easy to go for weeks without ever taking the time to be alone with God. Writing helps me develop a discipline I need.

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Deuteronomy 10:12-13

Today’s Readings:
With family: Deuteronomy 10; Psalms 94
In private: Isaiah 38; Revelation 8

Passage for Meditation: Deuteronomy 10:12-13
“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good?”

This is one of two places where God says, “What does the Lord require of you?”  The other, more familiar place is Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” 

Is there something about the version in Deuteronomy we don’t like?  I know I don’t like the word “require”.  When someone tells me something is required of me, I really get quite defiant inside.  How dare you tell me I must do something!  Besides, the things God is asking in Deuteronomy are hard, if not down-right impossible to obey. 

·      How would it change my life if I really feared God (in the sense of awe-filled respect, not fear of punishment)? 
·      It would radically change my days if I purposed to walk in all God’s ways.  My Daughter-in-law recently told me about a book she read called, “A Year of Biblical Womanhood”.  You should read some of the downright comic ways people could apply the Scriptures.  Regardless, I wouldn’t want to have to defend that I’m really walking in the ways of God.
·      Love him?  That sounds a little bit easier.  All except for the part where loving needs to turn into action.  And do I really love the one who is unseen?
·      Frankly, if I really took “serve him with all my heart and soul” seriously, I wouldn’t have the time for a blog like this.
·      The part I really rebel at is the idea of keeping his commandments.  Did you know there are over 4000 times in the Scriptures where God tells us to do something? 

To quote my Jewish friends, “Oy.”

On the other hand, the way most churches are today, there’s nothing we require of our people.  The most we could say is that we require our people to affirm some basic statement like the Apostle’s Creed.   To our shame, the real “Oy” is not how much God requires of us, but how little we require of one another as believers. 

Jon


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