(If you're coming to Trinity, Milton on Sunday, don't read this!)
That old saying about “how far the mighty have fallen”, speaks clearly to the life of David.
The shepherd boy who killed the giant Goliath with his sling went on to be chosen by God to be King of Israel. He ‘danced before the Lord’ and served God and the nation well until he fell from grace by having Uriah the Hittite killed and marrying his wife. God told David he would take back all that been given him
Then today, his son Absolom is taken as well.
Absolom first crossed David by killing his half-brother Amnon for raping Absolom’s sister Tamar. He went into exile and though eventually brought back to Jerusalem he was rejected by David and turned against him father, finally getting himself proclaimed King by his followers.
David told his troops to be gentle with Absolom, but Absolom is caught by his hair in a tree and killed.
David mourned deeply. “Absolom, my son…That I would have died instead of you, O Absolom, my son, my son….”
How far the mighty have fallen.
But in today’s Gospel, Jesus, the Bread of Life, says: ‘No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me and I will RAISE THEM UP….’
The mighty fall down. Those who come to Jesus are ‘raised up’.
And as the Psalmist tells us today, “My soul waits for the Lord,/ more than watchmen for the morning,/more than watchmen for the morning.”
Most of us are bad at ‘waiting’. We hate ‘waiting rooms’ and long lines. We want to move on, get passed it, stop waiting.
But waiting for the Lord is a holy thing.
Prayer is ‘waiting’. Meditation is ‘waiting’. Being quiet and sitting still is good for us—a holy thing.
(Close your eyes and be still….take a few slow, deep breaths…Wait….Wait…Let your soul wait for the Lord…Ok, come back now….)
And remember the words of Ephesians you heard today. They go like this: “Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ has forgiven you.”
Listen closely to what comes next in the Epistle!
“Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children and live in love as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
“Be imitators of God….”
So, as hard as it is, we must WAIT…AND WAIT…AND WAIT.
And as impossible as it sounds, we must be ‘imitators of God.’
And how do we do that? We live in love.
I’m sure most of you know the three Greek words for Love-‘eros’, ‘philios’, and ‘agape’.
‘Eros’ is erotic love….Nuff said about that.
‘Philios’ is love between those who are brothers and sisters—‘philios’ is the root of Philadelphia, the city of brotherly and sisterly love.
But ‘agape’ is what we must strive toward. The Love that gives itself away. That loves all and cares for all. Like the love God gives us.
We are imitators of God by loving…and loving…and loving even more.
Beloved, keep on LOVING.