Archive for April 8th, 2019

2 Chronicles 24: Joash

Monday, April 8, 2019

Joash repairs the Temple

Two years ago we looked at the struggle to save the child king Joash who is the centerpiece of today’s reading.  Today we take time to reflect on his life and how he did what was pleasing to the Lord as long as Jehoiada the priest lived. 

Joash is an example of one who restores all that was lost; and he is also an example of a leader who is empty of God’s promise.  As long as Jehoiada lives, Joash focuses on what is good and true.  Once the priest is gone, the king shows who he truly is: someone who lacks an authentic core.

Suffering is deepest when first we hold goodness for a time.  Pain is more searing when we have known harmony.  Sorrow is more keenly felt when we have experienced great joy.  So it is with the people ruled by Joash . . . the dreams they once thought reality become dim memories.  In their anger and grief, the people in this story ask for revenge . . . and they receive it.

It is likely that we have all loved someone or followed someone who showed great promise and have later been disappointed.  Perhaps we have discovered a dark emptiness in one we thought held a solid center.  If we have been wounded deeply by a Joash, we must not act in anger but in love.  We must not look for revenge for when we do we sink into the same emptiness we see in today’s story.

As followers of Christ, rather than asking for a settling of scores, we intercede for our enemies to ask for peace.  As Disciples of Christ, rather than falling back on hatred, we act in love.  As true apostles of Jesus, we seek concord so that darkness, and cruelty, ignorance and disunity have no place to take hold.  As children of God we pray, we witness, we watch for the opportunity to be Christ-like, and we act in love, always in love.

We might see Joash as the resounding gong or clashing cymbal St. Paul describes in his first letter to the Corinthians, for he is one who worships God because it makes a good appearance or because it gains him something.  When we meet Joash in our lives, let us ask God for the mercy and compassion to turn away from dark thoughts, and let us go to the Lord with our petitions of forgiveness and love.

A re-post from December 2011.

Image from: http://plantedatoakhill.blogspot.com/2011/05/chest-of-joash.html 

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