1 Kings 1: Power Changes Hands
As Easter approaches, and as we witness the swirling tides of power grow and collapse around us, we remember this reflection from March 14, 2008; and we remember that we are children of God, living with God’s loving promise.
This is a story or power ebbing and rising. It is also a story of corruption, convolution and byzantine conniving. And it is also the story of God’s providence, God’s openness to the impossible being possible, and God’s awesome ability to turn all harm to good. Just reading the first chapter of this book gives us a sliver of our history as Yahweh’s people. It can even give us a context for the corruption in our church structure today. We know who we are as God’s children: we are created, we are loved, we are longed for, we are anointed, we are blessed, we are saved, we dance an intimate dance with our God. The greater question for us may be: Who am I in God’s creation?
Sometimes these answers are more difficult to live with. If we believe, for example, in the sanctity of life, we must also believe that torture is an unjust way of interrogating people. If we believe that the Christ is present in the world today through us, we are still all God’s children, even if we cannot all agree about all of the details of an issue.
When we read about the people in these historical books, we come away with the assurance that no matter the era or epoch, we are all God’s people under the same skin. We all err. We all have the opportunity for redemption. We may all make reparation. We may all forgive and be forgiven. We are all God’s children.
When we read ACTS OF THE APOSTLES to remind myself of the many struggles which the early Church had during its formation, we can see clearly the presence of the Holy Spirit, God’s nurturing, abiding presence hovering constantly around these early apostles. We see power transferring from the Pharisees and their separatist thinking to the apostles and their universal salvation thinking. And even among the early Christians there was dissent: the necessity of circumcision, the need for baptism by the spirit, and so on. The Holy Spirit shepherded these people . . . and shepherds us today.
In both the Old and New Testaments we read of the human qualities of contrivance, deceit and falsehood . . . and we also read of honesty and redemption. Nathan, Bathsheba, Adonijah, Solomon, Zadok are all characters in this tale from long ago . . . and they are the people we see before us on the television screen each evening when we tune in to hear the day’s news. When we watch these people of then . . . or of today . . . how do we see ourselves responding? How do we witness to The Word? How do we react as children of God?
We might ponder these things tonight in our evening prayer.