When I first read the assigned Bible readings, I thought they had little in common. After some time and prayer, I realized the common thread which I called the “3Cs.”
The first reading from the Old Testament describes the choice made by Joseph’s brothers to sell him, thus turning from God’s way, resulting in the consequence of five years of famine. The psalm speaks about God’s vengeance and his rejection of the chosen tribes because of their choice of lifestyle, and how he turned instead to the tribe of Judah and a humble sheepherder, David.
Corinthians speaks of choices for those who are married and those who are single – how each should strive to be fully devoted to the Lord, and how the choice of marriage can make that devotion more difficult through the needs of family. The last reading, from Mark, speaks to communication as well as choices and consequences – how Jesus chose the disciples, and how he asked them to go and communicate the word, acknowledging that some will choose not to listen, and applying consequences.
I felt unsure of how to interpret these readings – about how God’s vengeance through rivers of blood, flies that devour, and frogs that destroy. All of this didn’t seem very applicable in my world of today. I thought about a book I had just read – Talk to the Hand – about the lack of manners, respect, and politeness in English society today. I realized that the passages do apply today. They apply in these ways.
- Our choices are important. Do we choose to put God first? Where do we spend our money and our time? Do we need that new coat, shoes, and car? How do we treat our neighbor? Do we offer a hand to those in need? Do we even ask how someone is doing? Do we know who needs a hand or word of support within our little church group? These are choices – choices of putting others first or ourselves as number one, consciously or subconsciously.
- Choices have consequences. Those who do not go to church may lose their way. A church that is not supported may shrivel and close. And those who do not help their neighbor may have no support in their time of need.
- Communication helps in making the right choices. We communicate by talking over our choices before we make them, by listening to others, and by listening for God to help us make good choices. We also learn through reading the Bible or devotional articles.
If everyone remembered the 3Cs, what a difference we could make. I hope you strive, like me, to follow the 3Cs today and always.