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Archive for April, 2008

Absalom develops a plan to pursue David who has fled from Jerusalem. Absalom and the army of Israel chase after David but before the main assault is launched, Absalom and a small party of men are found alone by some of David’s men. Absalom is killed. Upon hearing the news of Absalom’s death David mourns.

Even though Absalom had rebelled against David, David still loved him. David did not want his son to die and, in fact, when David learned of his death he asked why he could not have died in Absalom’s place. There is a parallel here between David’s relationship with Absalom and God’s relationship with humankind. David would have been willing to sacrifice himself to save his son; in the same way God was willing to sacrifice himself in order to save humanity. The difference is that David was not able to save Absalom; God (through Jesus sacrifice) is able to save us.

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2 Samuel 15:1-17:14

Absalom spends four years building up support among Israel and then leads a rebellion against his father David.  David flees Jerusalem with a fee men and Absalom announces that he is the king.  In David’s journey he is cursed by a relative of Saul.  David’s men say that they will kill then man, but David instructs his men to leave the man alone.  David says that if God has told this man to curse him, then who is David to argue.  Mephibosheth, Saul’s closest descendent whom David had honored, pledges his allegiance to Absalom. (more…)

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“Prayer Chain” by Tim Nolan

My mother called to tell me
about an old classmate of mine who

was dying on the parish prayer chain—
or was very sick—or destitute—

or it had not worked out—the marriage—
or the kids were all on drugs—and

all the old mothers were praying intensely
for all the pain of their children

and for life—they were praying for life—
in their quiet rooms—sipping decaf coffee—

I bet they’ve been praying for me at times—
so I’ll find my way—so I won’t rob a bank—

I’ll take them—the mystical prayers of old mothers—
it matters—all this patient and purposeful love.

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David’s son Amnon rapes his half-sister Tamar. Their brother Absalom accepts Tamar into his house and begins to hate Amnon. Absalom then carries out a plot to kill Amnon. After Amnon is killed, Absalom escapes to his grandfather’s house. David resigns himself to Amnon’s death and wishes to be reunited with Absalom. Absalom is allow to return to Jerusalem, but is not allowed to be in the King’s presence. Finally after two years apart, David and Absalom are reunited. (more…)

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A Prayer

Jesus,

You are the one who can speak to my need. You are the one who can free me from myself. You are the one who I hear calling. Help me to turn toward you. Enableme to live in your freedom. Replace my wants with your wants. Keep my heart focused on your will. Open my ears to hear your leading. You are wise and perfect. Make your will obvious to me, because I am a dense man.

I am impatient and do not want to wait. But I stay at rest, and I meditate on the knowledge that it will be far better to follow you than to race ahead of you. To often I look to the future and pay little attention to the present. Open my eyes to the ministry you have laid before me where I am. Remind me to share your glory in all I say and in all I do.

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me.

Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading,
Pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not His mercies,
Mercies for you and for me?

Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing,
Passing from you and from me;
Shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming,
Coming for you and for me.

Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

O for the wonderful love He has promised,
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon,
Pardon for you and for me.

Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

Thank you Jesus, Amen.

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This section is mostly the story of David and Bathsheba. David sleeps with Uriah’s wife Bathsheba. David places Uriah in a position to be killed during battle; Uriah’s death results in the death of several other people. The prophet Nathan comes to David with a parable and David realizes he has messed up. Nathan says to David, “You have given the enemies of the Lord great opportunity to despise and blaspheme him.” God forgives David but says that the child David and Bathsheba conceived will die. David fasts and prays during the baby’s sickness, but the child dies. Bathsheba has another son by David: Solomon. (more…)

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Weekly Meanderings

Here’s some stuff I came across this week…

1. NT Wright and Bart Ehrman Blogalogue about theodicy
2. Rose Madrid-Swetman has a conversation with Rob Bell about women in ministry
3. Paul Verhoeven (the director of Robocop, Basic Instinct, Starship Troopers, Showgirls, et al) writes a biography of Jesus
4. Great ideas that should never see the light of day
5. My friend told me that people in church uses flags sometimes in their service because it makes it easier for the Holy Spirit to find you. (WARNING: this is satire)
6. DNA non-discrimination act passes (including an interview with Francis Collins)
7. Darwin goes online
8. What’s your carbon footprint? Mine is 20.3 tons/yr (just under the US average). I need to plant 28 trees a year to be carbon neutral.
9. Lucy disappearing into the hum of the universe
10. The youngest college professor ever
11. Abortion as art…most recent update
12. Throwback baseball leagues
13. The Dodger’s Hitting Gnome
14. Scarlett Johansson covers Tom Waits (yes that Scarlett Johansson, and yes that Tom Waits…)

Have a great weekend!

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