Hi friends! Today's reading reviews why David could not be the one the build the temple for God and why his son Solomon must be the one to do it. Then it gets boring again and goes through a list of names of the groups of people responsible for working said temple when it gets built. Enjoy!
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
What does this say about God?
Do I agree that David should not be allowed to build the temple? Why?
How much of this is familiar?
- My Thoughts -
I don't know why I never really noticed the problem I have with this reading until this moment but the lack of grace found here is concerning to me. Trust me, I am no fan of David, but I do faithfully believe that we are all bigger than our biggest mistakes and that the resurrection of Christ over the forces of death proves that to be true. David clearly loved God and in his most humble days he was a crazy devoted guy to God. I think it's easy as a human to say to people who commit murder/rape as doomed to their sins forever but for God to say that? It's a little intense. I don't think David should ever be clean of the actions he did against Uriah and Bathsheba but I do believe he can still do good things and contribute to his society.
However I think that as a culture we uplift this type of thinking, especially in our prison systems. Our prisons are not built on reformation, but punishment. People go into prison as bad people and they come out as worse every single time. The relapse rate for prison is over 75%. In some cases (such as the jail downtown which is overflowing) inmates need to pay for their own dignity items such as underwear, socks, and shower supplies. If you don't have someone on the outside who can fill your funds than your out of luck. Then you factor in the real bad people that get felonies and that opens a whole new case of "grace" concerns. While it is improving it's still true that with a felony it's essentially a death sentence for your future. You will never get a job that can pay a living wage and offer even a decent benefits package. It's (irony intended) criminal.
I think it's one topic churches need to speak up more on and that's prison reform. Our entire system needs evaluated. What if we could restructure the system to free up costs that provide better housing and economic relief to poorer communities as the highest factors for first time offenders is desperation due to money or housing. We have a system that damns the poor and keeps them trapped. Jesus had words about caring for the poor and he had words for visiting the prisoner but too often the church is quiet in this regard.
In conclusion, I still hate David as much as I hate Paul. That will never change. But I'm also not God and I really hope that the God of love, mercy, and grace sees David, Paul and myself as bigger than our greatest sins. In practice, I hope that we as Christians can advocate our civil leaders to create a culture that more closely models that of Jesus' kingdom than what we see now. It is political and that's exactly what the church should be.
(Just Mercy and the New Jim Crow are two incredible books on prison reform and the effects the current system has on Black Americans.)
Praying the Hymns
Our prayer for today is inspired by hymn 224 - Good Christian friends rejoice. I hope you will join in with me as we sing in this song to the glory of God in mind, body, and spirit.
1 Good Christian friends, rejoice with heart and soul and voice; give ye heed to what we say: Jesus Christ is born today. Ox and ass before him bow, and he is in the manger now. Christ is born to day! Christ is born today!
2 Good Christian friends, rejoice with heart and soul and voice; now ye hear of endless bliss: Jesus Christ was born for this! He has opened heaven’s door, and we are blest forevermore. Christ was born for this! Christ was born for this!
3 Good Christian friends, rejoice with heart and soul and voice; now ye need not fear the grave: Jesus Christ was born to save! Calls you one and calls you all to gain his everlasting hall. Christ was born to save! Christ was born to save!