Posts Tagged ‘bad news’

2 Samuel 19:2-15Dreams Unrealized 

Monday, June 25, 2018

David evidently was in denial about his son Absalom.  All we need do to read about this young man’s abuse of the status and power given to him is leaf back a few pages to Chapters 13 through 18 to read the details of his story.  It is not positive.  Yet, David mourns the loss of this child, ignoring the horror that Absalom played out even against his own father.  We watch David struggle with the reality he does not want to see and now in this reading we watch David give over to his grief completely.  We wonder . . . does he mourn the loss of what actually was?  Or does he mourn the loss of what might have been?  We have no way of knowing.

Joab approaches David with words that eventually bring about a reconciliation between king and people.  His words are harsh and to the point; David comprehends quickly.  The greater offense here seems to be not so much that David mourns the loss of a child but that he appears to be oblivious to the harm this child’s behavior has brought about.   Many of us can identify with this.  We have likely gone to a family member or friend to try to being clarity to a murky situation only to be accused of speaking ill or of causing problems.   When delivering bad news, we must always be prepared to be blamed; and if we are not, we can breathe a sigh of relief and thank God.

In today’s story, David’s fragile state becomes apparent despite Joab’s recalling him to the realities of his role as leader and king.  We may not be as fortunate as Joab; but whether we are believed or rejected, we must consider the difficulty we bring someone when we bring bad news about a loved one; and we must deliver our words carefully.  If we are the ones who receive this bad news . . . we must be prepared to see another’s reality or else . . .  Not a single man will remain with you overnight, and this will be a far greater disaster for you than any that has afflicted you from your youth until now.

Whether we be Joab or David, we do well to remember that dreams fulfilled are welcome allies while dreams not realized are formidable enemies.  If we hope to step out to sit at the gate as David does, if we hope to bring the dreadful truth to someone so that it is heard as Joab does . . . we do well to enter the interaction carefully, and always include God in the exchange.   Only then can we hope for reconciliation.

We will be away from the Internet for several days. Please enjoy this reflection first posted on June 25, 2011.

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Ephesians 1:3-6: Entering In

Tuesday, December 8, 2015good-news

From THE MESSAGE version of today’s reading: Long, long ago God decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

I am wondering if we really believe this. At first glance the world seems to teem with evil plots and conniving deceit; with a second look we see differently. Family and friends tell me they cannot stay connected with world news because it is so frightening that it makes them anxious. So we go in search of good news. It is not difficult to find and, in fact, it surrounds us.

Average citizens refuse to back down from the extremism of terrorists, two men save a trapped American bald eagle, countless communities gather food and clothing for the poor, a professional American footballer and his daughter show incredible strength in the face of disease, activists work in cities and towns around the globe to create housing and support networks for those who have no homes, thousands work for new ways to bring water and electricity to the millions on the planet who live without it. Sites like, Upworthy, ABC and Huffington Post Good News remind us that humans are capable of conversion. Balance against evil and darkness can always be tipped in favor of goodness and light.

How blessed is God! And what a blessing God is! He is the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. 

good-news (1)To be made whole and holy by God’s love. Long before the foundation of the world was laid down. This is special indeed. To receive the gift of life and belonging. Long before our suffering began. This is miraculous and promising. To be sisters and brothers of Christ. Long before we ever conceived of the possibilities God has in mind for us. This is life worth entering into. This is news most worthy of announcing!

How blessed is God! How blessed are we! How promising is this season of holy coming! Let us fully and finally and completely enter in. For the price of turning away is far to great to imagine.

For more links to Good News sites, visit THE COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW at: http://www.cjr.org/behind_the_news/good_news_is_good_business_but.php


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