2 Samuel 11 and 12: Conversion – Part II
Friday, February 3, 2017
Two interesting readings from Acts tell the story of Saul/Paul’s conversion: 9:1-22 and 22:3-16. Again, we see the figure who serves as an instrument of God in the surprising kind of turnabout that can happen when we trust God enough to place ourselves in his hands. This man, like Nathan in the story of David, communes regularly with God so that when he finds himself in a situation that rightfully causes fear, he has the resources to step into the waiting hand of God . . . to go beyond the fear . . . and into his own conversion of vocation.
Nathan, Ananais, and countless other harvesters in God’s vineyard hear and answer this call by trusting in God. In the Acts readings we see Ananais hesitate, saying to God: Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man, what evil things he has done to your holy ones in Jerusalem. And the Lord replies: Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel, and I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name.
In today’s story, we do not read of any trepidation Nathan may have felt on going before the King to give the man an opportunity to repent. What we do read in verse 12:5 is how David reacted in anger to Nathan’s parable. Yet Nathan stands his ground, firm in his knowing that he has been sent.
We might spend time this afternoon wondering about our own Nathan parable. What story might the prophet stand before us to pronounce? How might we react? We also might also spend time thinking about our own role as truth-revealer. When we hear the voice tell us what is required of us, are we willing to do what is required?
We might question as Ananais does, or we might immediately – like Nathan – speak a truth we know others who are far stronger and far more powerful than ourselves wish to keep hidden. In any case, as children of light we are asked to stand in the truth and to bring truth to others . . . as is required of us by our God . . . according to our vocation.
We notice today that Ananais and Nathan respond to God’s call in kindness and with mercy, prepared and even expecting that their work will bear fruit. As we go about the rest of our day, we might want to think about which role we play in today’s drama. Are we David? Are we Bathsheba? Are we Nathan? Are we truly converted by our vocation? Do we act from God? Do we act with God? Do we act in God’s love? Do we act at all on what we know to be our own conversions . . . one of the heart . . . the other of our vocation?
Adapted from a January 25, 2009 Favorite.