“See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing the commandments, decrees and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess. But if your hearts turn away and you do not hear, but are led away astray to bow down to other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life, that you and your descendants may live…”.(Deuteronomy 30:15-19a)
My dear brothers and sisters,
Last week I offered a prayer of lament following four mass shootings in our country that weekend. Just moments ago, I learned of the horrific shooting at the elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. I would have you know that Uvalde, in the beautiful Texas hill country, is very well known to me. My heart is broken. This is an unfathomable tragedy, difficult to bear.
But this time I offer no common prayer, no lament, but rather the above word of judgment directly from the Lord in the Book of Deuteronomy. We can choose life, or we can choose death. We can choose blessing or we can choose curse. We can choose to love our children or we can continue our promiscuous affair with guns, with automatic weapons that have no place or purpose outside of war. We can continue to stoke the fires of hate and prejudice, but if we do, we should not be surprised that some, even the most innocent, will be burned. So much better to love unconditionally as our Lord Jesus Christ taught and did.
It is not too late. Let us all repent! Let us turn to the Lord! Let us turn to Jesus’ path of love and reject the voices of the false prophets of this world. That is my prayer for us all. “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, bless and curse. Choose life, that you and your descendants may live…”.
Beloved, let us choose life.