the joy of being his slave
"We will serve the Lord, our God, and obey His voice." —Joshua 24:24
Joshua and millions of other parents have proclaimed throughout the centuries: "As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord" (Jos 24:15). When the people responded to Joshua that they too were going to serve the Lord, Joshua questioned whether they could do it. "Joshua in turn said to the people, 'You may not be able to serve the Lord' " (Jos 24:19).
Serving the Lord is humanly impossible because it is much more than service. It is slavery. This is more understandable in the light of the New Testament. Paul taught: "Thanks be to God, though once you were slaves of sin, you sincerely obeyed that rule of teaching which was imparted to you; freed from your sin, you became slaves of justice" (Rm 6:17-18; see also Eph 6:6; Col 3:24 in the Greek). To be a slave of the Lord means to be owned by Him (see 1 Cor 6:19; Gal 2:20). A slave, unlike a servant, has no independence. He cannot quit or make his own decisions. He cannot take time off, go on vacation, or retire. He does not get paid.
The greatest privilege possible for a human being is to be the slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. Because Jesus became a Slave for love of us (Phil 2:7), decide to accept His grace to be His slave for love of Him. Say with Joshua: "As for me and my household, we will" be owned by the Lord and be His slaves thankfully, joyfully, and forever (Jos 24:15).
Prayer: Father, when others ask me about my joy in being Your slave, may I be ever ready to respond (see 1 Pt 3:15).
Promise: "Jesus said, 'Let the children come to Me. Do not hinder them.' " —Mt 19:14
Praise: St. Maximilian built a church and missionary buildings just outside of Nagasaki, Japan in the 1930s. When Nagasaki was destroyed by an atomic bomb in 1945, these buildings were spared from damage.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 22, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 24, 1999