Joshua 24: Choose this day whom you will serve

JOSHUA 24:1-3A, 14-25

1Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel; and they presented themselves before God. 2And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Long ago your ancestors — Terah and his sons Abraham and Nahor — lived beyond the Euphrates and served other gods. 3aThen I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan and made his offspring many.

14“Now therefore revere the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15Now if you are unwilling to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

16Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD to serve other gods; 17for it is the LORD our God who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight. He protected us along all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed; 18and the LORD drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the LORD, for he is our God.”

19But Joshua said to the people, “You cannot serve the LORD, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. 20If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm, and consume you, after having done you good.” 21And the people said to Joshua, “No, we will serve the LORD!” 22Then Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the LORD, to serve him.” And they said, “We are witnesses.” 23He said, “Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel.” 24The people said to Joshua, “The LORD our God we will serve, and him we will obey.” 25So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made statutes and ordinances for them at Shechem.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit in silent meditation for 5 to 15 minutes, paying attention to the breath.
  • What idol(s) are you worshiping today?
  • How do these idols bring your freedom?
  • How do these idols bring you bondage (unfreedom)
  • What do you need to let go?
  • Invite God into this place where you need to let go.
  • In this midst of this repentance, feel God’s forgiveness wash over you.
  • Feel God’s love embrace you.
  • See God’s path before you.
  • Step out upon this path that have been prepared for you by God.
  • How do you serve the Lord on this path?
  • Give thanks to God for this time to recognized idols, to repent, to receive forgiveness, and to step out on a path that gives glory to God.  Give thanks to God for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, November 6, 2011,  the Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25
Psalm 78:1-7
I Thessalonians: 4:13-18
Matthew 25:1-13
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Humility is the mother of all virtues…

Humility is the mother of all virtues;

purity, charity and obedience.

It is in being humble that our love becomes real, devoted and ardent.

If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace,

because you know what you are.

If you are blamed you will not be discouraged.

If they call you a saint you will not put yourself on a pedestal.


Mother Teresa


  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit in silent meditation 5 to 15 minutes paying attention to the breath.
  • Focus on Mother Teresa’s words above.
  • What word or phrase captures your attention?
  • What freedom do you notice?
  • What tension or bondage do you notice?
  • What hope do you encounter?
  • Is there a message from God to you?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in humble remembrance and thanksgiving.  Give thanks to God for anything new that has been revealed to you.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, October 30, 2011,  the Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Joshua 3:7-17
Psalm 107: 1-7, 33-37
I Thessalonians: 2:9-13
Matthew 23:1-12
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

All who humble themselves will be exalted…

Matthew 23:12  12All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.


  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit in silent meditation 5 to 15 minutes paying attention to the breath.
  • Focus on the photograph above.  Spend 3 to 5 minutes opening yourself to this image.
  • What word or phrase captures your attention in the image?
  • With whom do you most identify in the image?
  • What freedom do you feel in the image?
  • What tension or bondage do you feel in the image?
  • Spend another 3 to 5 minutes opening yourself to the image.  This image was captured 48 hours after the massive earthquake in Turkey.
  • What hope do you encounter here?
  • Where do you encounter humility?
  • Where do you encounter exaltation?
  • Who are you in the image?
  • Is there a message from God to you?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in humble remembrance and thanksgiving.  Give thanks to God for anything new that has been revealed to you.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, October 30, 2011,  the Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Joshua 3:7-17
Psalm 107: 1-7, 33-37
I Thessalonians: 2:9-13
Matthew 23:1-12
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Matthew 23: 1-12 All who humble themselves will be exalted

GOSPEL MATTHEW 23:1-12

1Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2“The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat;3therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. 4They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. 5They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. 6They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, 7and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi. 8But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. 9And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father — the one in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah.11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit in silent meditation 5 to 15 minutes paying attention to the breath.
  • Remember a time you humbled yourself.
  • Where did you find the strength to humble yourself.
  • Where did you notice this strength in your body.
  • How did you feel?
  • As you look back upon this time, do you see God?
  • Where was God at work?
  • Is there a message for you in this remembrance?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in humble remembrance and for anything new that has been revealed to you.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, October 30, 2011,  the Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Joshua 3:7-17
Psalm 107: 1-7, 33-37
I Thessalonians: 2:9-13
Matthew 23:1-12
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD