THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
This week, if you read the Lectionary readings, you will face a challenging choice. On the one hand, the Old Testament tells the story of David’s lowest moment, when he looks out from the roof of his palace he sees Bathsheba bathing. Motivated by lust, he sets about seducing her, ignoring the fact that she is married to one his soldiers. When she falls pregnant, he calls the man home, hoping he will sleep with his wife and cover up how she got pregnant. But Uriah is a faithful and selfless man, and spends the night at the door of the palace, refusing to sleep in comfort while his comrades are sleeping out on the battlefield. When David sees that his plan has failed, he arranges to have Uriah killed. David’s lust and self-interest become deeply destructive. He already had wives and wealth beyond measure, but when he saw this woman he allowed his desire to consume him. The consequences of this choice led to the ultimate division of David’s kingdom as the children and grandchildren of his different wives turned to rivalries and conflict.
On the other hand, the Gospel tells the story of a boy who, denying his own hunger, offers his tiny packed lunch to share with a huge crowd. There’s a key here – if this child had brought food with him, many others must have done so as well. But, where he is willing to share, they obviously aren’t. But then, his sacrifice and faith opens the door for them to trust and to share, which means that there is enough for all. Straight after this, Jesus saves his disciples from a storm by coming to them across the water. This is another faith-building moment for them.
So, here is the choice for this week: How will we choose to live? Do we allow ourselves to be controlled and directed by our own needs, desires, and self-interest, like David? Or do we choose the path of faith and generous self-giving like the boy with the food, or like Jesus himself? This is one of the most important decisions we will ever make, and it’s one we need to make daily.
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