Pondering for Wednesday: August 21, 2019

Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of Proper 15 Year 1

AM Psalm 119:145-176; PM Psalm 128, 129, 130 2 Samuel 18:19-33; Acts 23:23-35; Mark 12:13-27

“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 that I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!’” (2 Samuel 18:33)

This is the third son that king David has lost.  The first was the baby born to Bathsheba, and then Amnon who was killed by Absalom.  After the death of the baby David lamented for seventeen days until his servants told him the baby died; after which, he composed himself and returned to do his work.(See blog for August 10)   And now Absalom has been killed.  David is really hurt.  Even though Absalom wanted to kill David, David would rather have died instead of his son Absalom. In this death David’s men bring him around by reminding him that his troops who vowed to give their lives for him were more loyal and loving to him than his son Absalom was.

This is the way it is with faith and believing.  I love my family. Life (and God) has brought me into a new family of faith.  I am reminded of when Jesus was told that his mother and siblings were asking for him:  “While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”  He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:46 – 50)

While this sounds rough, I have found that the people I worship with and pray with have more in common with me that those who share my DNA. I still love my biological family and people have told me that blood is thicker than water.  And, to that I say, faith is thicker even than blood.  Jesus points to those who seek God as those who are closer to him.  Jesus doesn’t just ask us to pick between him and the devil.  He asks us to pick him first, even above family.  I have found that I am able to love family even more when I live them through Jesus. David didn’t have this option.

David has experienced the death of some of his children; more than just the baby and Absalom there was also Amnon for whom he mourned (2 Samuel 13).  So what must God feel at the death of Jesus?  Wow! Are we worth what God suffers for us?  Jesus makes us worth it.  Jesus has added value to our lives by making us holy before God through his sacrifice on the cross.

There is a big difference between David’s children dying and Jesus dying.  David, like God, loved his child. But Jesus was loyal and loving back to His (our) Father in Heaven as well.  Jesus’ death was the atonement for us, for our sins, and for our eternal salvation.  Big difference.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through God’s people.  John+

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