As a Lenten practice during this season, clergy and leaders in the church from youth to elders will be sharing their devotions.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 18-20
Key verses: (20:13-15) May the Lord be with you, as he has been with my father. 14 If I am still alive, show me the faithful love of the Lord; but if I die, 15 never cut off your faithful love from my house, even if the Lord were to cut off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.”
Reflection: Today’s passages focus on Saul’s jealousy of and attempts to murder David. While Saul and David are more significant in Biblical history, I find the role of Jonathan, Saul’s son, much more compelling in these chapters. Jonathan initially plays an intercessory role, later aiding David in evading Saul’s wrath and assisting with his escape in a stunning display of loyalty.
What is most compelling to me about Jonathan’s role is his radical dedication to David. Jonathan’s devotion is not predicated by any rational reason and it’s certainly not based on self-interest. His commitment is based on love, the kind of inexplicable love infused with the grace of God that transcends our feeble human constructs.
In this Lenten season, how can we be a Jonathan in the lives of others? Let’s start by re-evaluating our relationships with others. Too many times have I fallen into the trap of viewing my relationships through a transactional lens, essentially, how much am I giving or receiving in this relationship? Jonathan demonstrates how this is a flawed viewpoint. By placing love, not advantages or disadvantages, at the center of how we interact with others, we can begin to live as Christ intends.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for bringing people into our lives who love and care for us without reservation or hesitation. Enable us to radically love others so that we might forever lift up the ever-present love of our Lord Jesus Christ in our world. Amen.
Author: John Schubert, Elder class of 2021
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].