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 16-18
Key verse: (18:33) The king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept; and as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”
Reflection: What are the consequences of our actions when we choose conflict and division over peace and forgiveness? We don’t know how God will craft justice from our messy world, even if God is on our side. 2 Samuel shows us the cascade of violence begetting violence, and sin driving sin. In the conflict with his son, David wins – but at what cost? These passages show us that our choices matter. They should also remind us we are profoundly blessed to be redeemed by Jesus, despite our choices. Through this redemption we are called to love each other with joy, and to let go of temptations toward the anger and revenge that come so easily. We are able to love each other with joy knowing that we are already ransomed, forgiven in full. Following in the footsteps of redemptive love, we dare to follow Christ in healing the turmoil of our world and bringing it a little closer to the kingdom of heaven.
Prayer: God of our redemption, compel us to be your agents of peace. Stoke the fires of our hearts not with hostility, but with joy. Fill us with restlessness and bravery to do your will. Amen.
Author: James White, Elder class of 2023
[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].