As a Lenten practice during this season, clergy and leaders in the church from youth to elders will be sharing their devotions.
Scripture: 2 Samuel 13-15
Key verse: (15:6) Thus Absalom did to every Israelite who came to the king for judgment; so Absalom stole the hearts of the people of Israel.
Reflection: These chapters in 2 Samuel provide an account of King David’s two sons, Amnon and Absalom who were half-brothers and Tamar, Absalom’s full sister. Amnon developed lust in his heart for Tamar and devised a plan to lure her to his home to lie with him against her will. Afterwards he felt hatred for Tamar and sent her away. Absalom hated his father for not punishing Amnon for this assault on his sister and then took it upon himself to have Amnon killed. Later he recruited allies including Ahithophel a trusted counselor of King David to try and overthrow his father to become King. Absalom was an extremely handsome and persuasive man who had no trouble amassing followers to help him carry out his sinful deeds. He effectively “stole the hearts of the men of Israel” for his own purposes.
In today’s world we are constantly being fed information on television, social media, the Internet, the radio and practically every facet of life. Authority figures proclaim their truth about whatever subject they champion, from politics, religion, fashion, entertainment to healthy living. They all speak with conviction and expect us to believe that their way and their truth is the only way and the only truth, and any opposing view is wrong and should be ignored, silenced or eliminated. We as Christians must always be on guard to avoid deception and having our hearts stolen. May we keep our lives focused on the only one who is the way the truth and the life, Jesus our Christ. We must view life through the lens of Christ and seek truth and justice in all we do with compassion, generosity and love.
Prayer: Dear God, as we wait in anticipation of the joy of Easter please fill our hearts with your divine love and peace. These are trying times and many are suffering and we all need to feel your presence. Please use us as instruments of your mercy, grace and justice. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
Author: Norman Walters, 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].