Offertory Prayer

Each month's Offertory Prayers includes an "Invitation to the Offering" (see below) along with a digital image for those who might want to use it. We hope you will find this a helpful way to remind the people in your pews that their offering travels to many places to make a powerful difference in the lives of people they may never meet. You can find great stories of the difference our giving makes at http://umcgiving.org.

Invitation to the Offering
The offering you made last week empowered ministry within our congregation and in response to the needs of our community. It also helped support the work of ministries beyond the local church, such as our Archives and History Center on the campus of Drew University in Madison, NJ. Here, a small group of dedicated archivists preserve the history and artifacts that keep us connected to our past – what they call “the ministry of memories.” By preserving historical photographs, sound recordings, published documents in digital formats, as well as treasures such as the Bible used by Francis Asbury or the journals and handwritten notes of John Wesley, scholars of today can be reconnected with our beginnings when we were more of a movement than an institution. Many in the church hope that this Holy Spirit movement can be recovered for a new generation, and those hopes are made possible through the work of our Commission on Archives and History. This ministry happens, thanks to the way the people of The United Methodist Church live and give connectionally. I invite you to give generously as we worship God through sharing our gifts, tithes, and offerings.

Learn more about the General Commission on Archives and History at http://www.gcah.org

April 19, 2015 – Third Sunday of Easter
Holy God, thank you for making Jesus the Author of life, whom you raised from the dead. You still do marvelous miracles of forgiveness, bringing healing and new life in our midst. We know that these gifts don't come from our power or piety, but by your goodness. As we reach out to people in our community, may they draw closer to you. Let our offerings contribute to the ongoing work of your servant Jesus, here and now. Amen. (Acts 3:12-19)
April Offertory Prayers were written by the Rev. Rosanna Anderson, Associate Director of Stewardship Ministries at Discipleship Ministries, The United Methodist Church.

Friday, July 24, 2009

When the King Sins, a Reflection on 2 Samuel 11:1-15

Throughout the books of 1 and 2 Samuel, the story of David combines favorable aspects along with unfavorable aspects. Steven McKenzie discusses what he calls these conflicting versions in his King David, a biography.

This week's reading tells us of one of the unfavorable acts of David.

He has been an ardent warrior, bravely facing mighty foes. And now, while his army is fighting somewhere else, he is lounging at home.

He notices a beautiful woman, Bathsheba, and he desires her.

Bathsheba's husband Uriah is one of the soldiers now at battle.

When Uriah returns, David is not able to trick him into providing an alibi for Bathsheba's pregnancy. David sends him back to battle, to the forefront of the hardest fighting.

We can see in David's sin many echoes in our own time. People who have demonstrated great ability, devotion, and talent to getting to the top then misuse their gifts. They become willing to harm many people.

As you read this story, imagine yourself as each of the characters. As David, what gifts have you benefited from? Have you misused your status? How does a middle-aged person overcome temptation?

As Bathsheba, how do you resist the advances of someone much higher in status to you? To whom can you turn for support?

As Uriah, how do you measure your loyalty to someone you have deservedly respected at times when that person has behaved in such a way that he has damaged that respect?

2 comments:

Gramps said...

It seems helpful for us to put ourselves in the places of the characters. I wonder, though, what realistic options Bathsheba really has. How could one resist the king?

Una Malachica said...

Alone, with no support, she couldn't.