Sunday, October 20

2 Samuel 5:1-5 

Honest souls wrestle with biblical texts. This is especially true as we carefully make our way through the Hebrew Scriptures. Violence fills many of these pages, making lots of their stories NSFFG (not suitable for flannelgraph). So we never heard them in Sunday school, nor, tellingly, in our lectionary readings. 

Our Scripture this week in 2 Samuel describes the fruition and fulfillment of God’s work and promise, but ugly, violent stories surround these texts, begging the question, “How is all this horrible stuff happening right beside all of the holy stuff?” The chapters before David’s anointing in chapter 5 would make the Godfather blush. Yet, in the midst of this mess, the Scripture writers, and the community that has held onto these stories, invite us to see God at work. Can we? Let’s try.

In today’s reading, David is anointed (v. 3). This is only a reaffirmation for David and those of us reading along; we remember that he was anointed as a shepherd boy. He has carried this identity long before it is outwardly confirmed. David has a long journey to make before being inaugurated, a long journey that is made in the midst of intense political calculation and injustice, involving paranoia and hiding, killing and dealmaking, compromise and more killing. Yet, even as he navigates all of this, David faithfully trusts in something higher and holy. 

Day by day, we seek to live more fully into our kingdom callings within the messy imperfections of a fallen world. But even in the midst of all that we must navigate, we too can trust in something holy. 

Consider

What makes being a disciple a “messy” process for you these days? What glimpses of the holy do you see along your way? 

Pray

God, help us stay faithful to your call to follow. When life is most challenging, may your light guide us to stay the course. Amen.

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