Faith’s Essential Question

Deuteronomy 30:15-20  – The 6th Sunday after Epiphany – for Sunday, February 16, 2014

“I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses . . .” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Choose. Some choices are mostly meaningless.

  • Butter or cream cheese on that bagel?
  • HP or Canon or Epson ink jet printer?
  • The (good) Giants or the (rotten) Dodgers?
  • Coke or Pepsi?

How many choices do we make every day? How many choices have changed the course of a day, or a life?

197924_192589770783069_150319295010117_431311_4488791_nDeuteronomy’s invitation echoes across the centuries . . . I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may life.

Life or death? Blessings or curses?

My wife, having been told by her doctor to eat more fiber, asks me to buy bran cereal when I next go to the supermarket. I bring home General Mills’ Fiber One instead of Kellogg’s All-Bran and she tells me it wasn’t what she requested. But the odds were against me because there were hundreds of choices in the aisle devoted to cold cereal. At least a dozen claimed (in large, colorful fonts) to solve a person’s fiber needs. How could I not choose the wrong brand?

There are so many choices.

I lead a support group at hospice for those grieving the death of a spouse. At the first session, I tell the eight “strangers” they’ll always be given a choice about sharing. If they don’t want to speak, they don’t have to. One man, whose wife of 50-plus years had died a few months before, never says anything until the second-to-last gathering. I have chatted privately with him; anytime he opens his mouth, he begins to cry. He doesn’t want to cry. Continue reading →