Monday, July 23, 2012

Sex, prayer and food

Readings for Sunday 29th July (9th Sunday after Pentecost - Proper 17) 2 Sam 11:1-15; Psalm 14; Ephesians 3:14-21; John 6:1-21
Sex, food and prayer
The title for this week may surprise some! But these are themes from these readings.
Though they don't neatly 'click' together, they speak of some really fundamental things that drive us.
David who we continue to read about, is at once both heroic and flawed
It was ever so!
Here we read about how the successful King
successful because he has been responsive to God's promise
can still get it wrong.
He commits adultery and fathers a child.
More than this, he weaves a web of intrigue and deceit
ultimately climaxing in the murder of the innocent man he has wronged.
For this he will come to know God's wrath
and he will live with this serious failure for the rest of his life.

I reflect that we should all be careful of being judgmental
There but for the grace of God go you and I?
But how does David lose the plot so fundamentally.
Like you and me he does it because he forgets that it is God who is is charge, not David!
David thinks that it is his life plan that he implementing
and so that he is invincible.
It is the fall of the proud... hubris ... in classical terms

Paul's prayer this week is for his fellow Christians that they may freely acknowledge God's love and greatness
It is a mystery which lies outside out understanding
and is part of of our growth and learning as humans.
David's fault, like us so often,
is that when things are going well
we can easily be seduced into thinking it is we who are responsble.
And we can act as if we are God
and give ourselves permission to do anything.
Even sin.
This requires some subtlety and care
issues are not always, indeed never,
Black and white
and so Paul's prayer
"that (we) may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that (we) may be filled with all the fullness of God"
is a good and necessary prayer for caution and humility.

God's abundanceThe wonderful story of the feeding of the 5000
reminds us that we have no need to panic (as David did)
and that God will always act with abundance in our lives.
At times we will even see Jesus walking on the water and inviting us to join him!

So today, our prayer is to remian faithful to the Spirit of God
who has blessed us time and time again
to not presume, as David did, that God does and will sanction everything and anything we choose to do.
God demands more of us than that.
Pray, as Paul urges us, that we all may understand the mystery of God's love
ever deeper and deeper in our lives
And let this be our prayer for each other.

God pours out his abundant love,
spiritually and materially
we don't need to panic.
We can trust his control of our lives.
Can we trust ourselves.

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