“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness…
But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” -Joshua 24:14-15
Tomorrow we are moving to our new home in Burbank! Our house in Pasco is under contract and hopefully will close by the end of the month. It was a long and at times stressful process, we showed our house for 9 weeks before we received a final offer. Our family is breathing a collective sigh of relief and excitement about being in our new home.
As we have engaged our neighborhood challenges this summer, it was not easy to connect with people knowing we were leaving them shortly. But I have spent more time out front weeding and watering and talking with the neighbors and finding ways to say goodbye and bless them as we move. We are excited to get to know the new neighborhood and introduce ourselves to a new group of people. We hope to live in this home for a very long time. I’m going to plant trees and watch them grow alongside our children.
I am reminded of the people of Israel renewing their commitment to God at the end of the book of Joshua. He challenges the people to choose whom they will serve, the gods of the Egyptians, the gods of the Amorites, or the God of Israel who has freed them from slavery and brought them up out of Egypt to this promised land. Joshua makes the commitment to serve the Lord and hopes that the other tribes of Israel will join him in that promise. As we move from place to place or stay put for a very long time it is helpful to renew our commitment to serve the Lord. No matter where we are, will we serve the Lord? No matter for how long, will we be faithful to worship and discipleship? Will we be engaged with a church in our community? Will we make a difference in the lives of the people around us? Will we mentor young Christians in their faith? Will we serve the Lord? My prayer is YES! We will.
As you continue to engage with your neighborhood I encourage you to renew that commitment to God. Re-dedicate yourselves, your families, your households and your neighborhoods to God. Here are a few house blessings which might assist you in this process. Read a poem. Read the scripture from Joshua 24:14-15. And say a prayer together with your family.
Here are a few of my favorite house blessings:
Whether you come to visit or just to rest
When you enter our home may you be blessed.
May your walls know joy.
May each room hold laughter.
And may every window open to great possibility.
Bless this house, O Lord, we pray.
Make it safe by night and day.
Bless these walls so firm and stout,
Keeping want and troubles out.
Bless the roof and chimney top.
Let thy love flow all about.
Bless this house that it may prove
Ever open to joy and truth.
Bless us all that we may be
Fit, O Lord, to dwell with thee.
Bless us so that one day we,
May dwell, dear Lord, with thee.
Loving God, we stand in this (new) home. You have brought us to this place and this community where we desire to create a loving home. Thank you for all that brings us to this place. We ask now for your loving presence to be real in all the living that will happen here: the joys and sorrows, the good and bad times, the successes and failures. Use this gift of a new home to create an environment of peace. For all who have not yet experienced your love and forgiveness, may this home be one of their stops in their journey toward you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
~Pastor Hanna Peterson Shearer