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Organ Donation, Persecuted Churches, Choice: Reflections on Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25

Hence, if I choose this Sunday to address organ donation as a Christian issue, what does my choice of YHWH dictate to me? Because YHWH is creator of all and sustainer of justice for all, I am finally responsible not only for my own wellbeing, but for the health and vitality of all of YHWH's people. When my organs can no longer serve my life, but retain their viability, a choice of YHWH demands that I share those organs with others who can gain or regain their lives with the donation of my organs.

If I choose to look at the question of the persecution of the church around the world, and if I have chosen YHWH to serve, several implications follow. Praying for my own community of faith only is insufficient in a world loved and redeemed by YHWH. Brothers and sisters in the faith come in all shapes and sizes, all colors and languages. Just as I am responsible for the health of others with my organs, so I am responsible for believers everywhere.

Yet, the choice of YHWH does not allow me only to pray for fellow Christians. If YHWH is God of all, then my choice of YHWH bids me pray for all who call on the name of God, whether that God be called YHWH or Allah or Vishnu. If I cannot so pray, than I have not chosen YHWH, but rather a tribal God of Christians only, or, worse yet, merely some American Christian godlet, who is finally no god at all. Yes, even those who claim no God at all must equally be subjects of my concern and prayer. As you can see, the choice of YHWH is a radical choice indeed!

Thus, be careful how you answer the demand of Joshua, as he asks us all to choose today whom we will serve.

That choice has the most serious consequences for how we live, whom we love, how we act. The Bible can provide crucial insight for our modern lives, as this brief look at the choice of YHWH makes all too clear.

11/4/2014 5:00:00 AM
John Holbert
About John Holbert
John C. Holbert is the Lois Craddock Perkins Professor Emeritus of Homiletics at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, TX.