NOTE: If you are looking for yesterday’s post on the passing of Rebekah’s step-mom, “Grand-Myrt,” then click on the following link – “the grace of a great story: “goodbye” to Myrt Hubbard Alexander.”
TODAY: Many of you have been following my occasional commentary on the King David story. My Wednesday men’s Bible-study has been reading through the books of Samuel, and it has been an interesting ride to say the least.
Yesterday evening we concluded our discussion of the long, sordid, Absalom affair (2 Samuel 13-19), and I learned – again – how differently scripture reads when you move away from what I call, “sound-bite mentality” and remember to look at the big picture.
Over the long haul, King David’s reign as king is one long train wreck. But the narrative account is also an epic drama punctuated by multiple instances where the nature of his heart is revealed time and again. The Bible describes David as “a man after God’s own heart,” and his struggle is the same as ours; and that is, “how can we reconcile the inner calling to follow God’s way with our place in the tragic, broken world we live in?”
The king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept; and as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” 2 Sam 18:33
WITH GREAT POWER… David was a great man, no doubt, but he failed time and again, and the reach of his failure was magnified by his great power (In this instance, for example, the consequence of his unwillingness to stand up when his daughter was raped led to murder, dishonor, rebellion, war, and the death of at least 20,000 people). Likewise, the positive influence of David’s genuine love for God, his repentance, and the authenticity of his struggle has been huge.
For us – a group of men journeying through life with some amazing gifts and resources at our disposal – it is obvious that we need to put things in the correct order. Unless we engage our day to day – first – from the perspective of humble servants of God, always seeking to follow the Living Way of Jesus, we can make a terrible mess of the opportunities that come our way.
Like David, each one of us has the charge to take what God has given us, and to make a difference in this world. As husbands and fathers; as friends and neighbors; as professionals making a living; as citizens; as members of a faith community committed to making disciples, and sharing God’s invitational love with the world…
The benefits.. the consequences… the repercussions… the results of how we live our faith out loud are commensurate with the level of giftedness and resources God has trusted us with.
OPPORTUNITY: This is both an opportunity and an intimidating reality. But this is why we gather in groups for accountability, encouragement, and inspiration. Because Christianity is best understood – and practiced – as a team sport.
In love, and because God wants to take the Gospel of Love to the world through us – DEREK