January 18, 2023
Thinking about scandals.
Scandals seem to be like active shooter stories. There are so many of them, it is difficult to remember them all, and yet, there are always victims. You hear about one, then another, then another and before long, the details get hazy and yesterday’s scandal is drowned out by todays. But, while public attention moves on, what is left are people who in many cases are the victims of it. They remain and if you are with them long enough, they can roll up their sleeves and show you their scars. Many won’t. It is too hard to relive. There are many more stories that are never exposed. The victims suffer silently and, in many cases, prefer it that way.
Later this year I plan to start preaching through the gospel of Luke. I am loving our series in 1-2 Samuel, but knowing that David’s Son is so glorious, has me salivating over the prospect of preaching through Luke’s account of Christ. I’ve done some initial reading and overview to get the theme, flow and feel. Now I am starting a very slow and ponderous read of the book. I am repeatedly struck with how much attention Jesus gives to people who tend to be overlooked. I read about the man with the withered hand, the widow whose son died, the woman “who was a sinner”, and the woman who had a discharge of blood for 12 years and realize that if people were taking pictures back then with smart phones, many of these people would be edited out of the frame. These were the type that many did not care about it. Time to move on. But Jesus didn’t move on from them. He moved toward them.
I have seen a couple of examples recently of how you are doing this and it has been a great encouragement to me. One of our members has been laid up physically which has prevented her from being able to get back to our church gathering yet. She shared with me the list of people that she calls and prays for. She is aware of several people who could easily be overlooked. We know that Jesus does not overlook them, but it is also a very sweet gift when his people give time as well. Another example comes from one our elders, Bert Spalding. You may or may not know that the Mormon religion has been hemorrhaging due to a number of scandals that threaten to expose their faulty foundation. Classic apologetics can help you understand the issues, but think of the thousands of people raised in that faith and culture who are finding out that so much of what they were taught is a fraud. What do they do? Where do they turn? What if you were a leader in that religion and you realize that what you were taught, and what you taught others is wrong? Who can you talk to about this privately and confidentially? This is what Bert is seeking to do. Some of you know how he is connecting with people like this in order to give them a real hope.
In the text for this Sunday, David inquires of the Lord before he makes a move. This is a great example for us. Would you pray with me and ask the Lord, “Will you make me aware of the people around me who need affectionate attention so that I can be your ears of understanding and your voice of gospel to them?”
The world moves on. We move toward.
Grace and peace,
Sunday’s text: 2 Samuel 2:1-11