Offertory Prayer

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 that reach people who are in desperate need to feel the touch of love and reconciliation. Through the Episcopal Fund, your church not only supports the Bishop who serves your conference, but the global work of our United Methodist episcopal leaders. Your giving makes possible their witness for the whole church in many areas including evangelism, justice ministries, global health and working with the world’s poor. This ministry happens thanks to the generous support of United Methodists like you. I invite you once again to give generously as we worship God through the sharing of our gifts, tithes and offerings.

Learn more about the work of the Council of Bishops of the UMC at: http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/council-of-bishops

August 24, 2014 -- Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide
Almighty and merciful God, as we give our tithes and offerings this morning, we are reminded that it is here that the relationships of our hearts and our connection to the material world intersect. You have called us into the world, into its need, its suffering, its injustice, and its pain; not to be claimed by the world, but as those claimed by you to be agents of change and transformation and healing in the world. So use not only these gifts, these dollars we offer, but use us. Use our hands, use our feet, use our voices, and use our hearts to shape the world for which you long. We pray in the blessed name of Jesus, our Rock and our Redeemer. Amen. (Romans 12:1-8)
(Genesis 45:1-15)

"Prayers by Ken Sloan. Copyright General Board of Discipleship. www.GBOD.org Used by permission."

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.