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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

OUR THEME FOR 2012
(Part 3)

LIFE VERSUS DEATH

February 23, 2012

Today’s readings:
Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Psalm 1:1-6
Luke 9:22-25


At the very start of Lent, right after Ash Wednesday yesterday, we are brought to our theme verses for the year. Lent is a time of choosing right over wrong, virtue over sin, God over the evil one. It is choosing life over death.

It is a very stark choice, with very clear and contrasting consequences.

Life
Death
Life and prosperity
Death and doom
A long life
Will not have a long life
Blessing
Curse
Like a tree planted near streams of water
Like chaff driven by the wind
Will never wither
Will not survive judgment
Way watched over by God
Way leads to ruin
Save one’s life
Lose one’s life
Gain the whole world
Forfeit himself

The above, to us, is not much of a choice. We obviously would choose life. But that is easier said or desired than actually done. There are conditions attached. We do not just choose, but we need to act on that choice, according to God’s precepts. If we do not, then even as we choose for life, we might be moving into death.

How do we need to act?

Life
Death
Obey commandments of God
Turn away and not listen
Love God and walk in His ways
Adore and serve other gods
Not follow counsel of wicked;
Not go the way of sinners;
Not sit in company with scoffers
The wicked;
Sinners in the assembly of the just
Study God’s law day and night
Scoffers
Lose life for Jesus’ sake
Wishes to save his life

The last aspect gives us the contradiction of the cross. We choose life because we wish to save our life and enjoy life to the full, but the way for that to happen is for us to lose our life, for the sake of Christ. This means that we deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow Jesus (Lk 9:23).

This is the way of Jesus, the One whom we follow. He suffered greatly, was rejected, and was killed (Lk 9:22). But on the third day he was raised. Loss became gain. Defeat became victory. Death became life.

God has set the choice before us. Choose life, but choose death to self. Look to prosperity, but live a life of simplicity. Choose blessing, but be willing to be cursed and maligned for the sake of Christ. Occupy the land, but forfeit yourself.

* * *

 
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