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 28-31
Key verses: (30: 22-25) 22 Then all the corrupt and worthless fellows among the men who had gone with David said, “Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except that each man may take his wife and children, and leave.” 23 But David said, “You shall not do so, my brothers, with what the Lord has given us; he has preserved us and handed over to us the raiding party that attacked us. 24 Who would listen to you in this matter? For the share of the one who goes down into the battle shall be the same as the share of the one who stays by the baggage; they shall share alike.” 25 From that day forward he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel; it continues to the present day.
Reflection: This passage from 1 Samuel seems to be one of teaching. The Lord is teaching us lessons of how to live together, how to treat each other as equals. Furthermore, moving past equality, the passage seems to give a lesson on sharing and the importance of various roles in life. The men who went to battle with David and won, recovered that which had been taken from them, but they wanted even more. Since they were battling on the front line, they thought they should have all the spoils of victory. When they returned from battle, David was teaching them to share with those who stayed behind, not to keep all the goods for themselves. In this passage, David is suggesting that it does not matter if you are on the front line fighting the enemy, or one who stays behind to care for the weak and sick, or the one tending the gardens or even as the passage says watching over the bags. Everyone has a role to play, and all are equal in the eyes of the Lord.
During this time of isolation and staying at home do find yourself comparing your role to others? As the pandemic continues to affect many and take lives, we all have a role to play. While doctors and nurses and essential workers have “frontline” duties, our tasks of waiting, washing hands, and wearing masks are just as important (even if it feels like we are just waiting by the metaphorical baggage). In this season of Lent, consider what role you find yourself playing in life, both in this time of COVID, and your hopes for the years to come. How can you live into the promise that God sees everyone’s job and role as essential and important?
Prayer: Dear Lord, in these current times of despair, please help us fight the enemies of disease, inequality, homelessness, and of hunger. Help us to continue our outreach programs to help fight these battles. In this time of Lent, Lord help us to reflect on our past and move forward in preparation for better times. We trust in you God that you will see us through to the next day. Amen.
Author: David Stroup, Elder Class of 2022
[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].