Each Day Gets Brighter

Enlightenment comes at us on a daily basis when we’re aware and seeking it.  This weekend’s readings caused high wattage light bulbs to go off several times for me.

In the first reading from the book of Samuel (2 Samuel 12: 7-10, 13), Nathan the prophet is chosen to deliver a message from God to King David.  God says, “I anointed you king of  Israel, I rescued you from the hand of Saul, I gave you your lord’s house and your lord’s wives.”   God is trying to tell David that he’s been given so much, yet he still found it necessary to be greedy and selfish and go and take what belonged to someone else.

What God is saying to David is, “how could you?”  He sounds like a parent speaking to a child (I could hear myself speaking to one of my kids). After gladly receiving everything that David was given by God, he still wanted more.  David became infatuated with Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, and conceived a child with her while Uriah, one of David’s most loyal soldiers was off at battle.  As if this is not bad enough, David then had Uriah arranged to be killed “in the line of battle” to cover up his less-than-worthy actions.

God is saying to David, “how could you commit adultery and murder after all that I’ve given you?”

God is asking the same question to us today, “how could you?”  When are you and I selfish and greedy? When do we ignore God’s love and generosity and go off desiring more without considering the impact of our actions on others?  That was light bulb number one for me.

In the second reading from Paul to the Galatians (Galatians 2:16, 19-21), Paul is reminding the mostly Jewish converts to Christianity at that time that salvation comes about through faith in Jesus – not by holding on to a promise of salvation as the result of clinging to the old laws of diet and circumcision.  Paul tells them that if the laws were good enough to bring about salvation then, Christ’s death was in vain.  In short, Paul is advising them (and us) to  love Jesus, have faith in him and keep his commandments.

God sent his only son to live with us, teach us and die for our sins.  He is the way to salvation. It’s not that there was anything wrong with the dietary laws or circumcision, but they should not be the focus of our life and our faith.  Our eyes and ears should be paying attention to Jesus.

Paul also says something amazing in this same reading. He says, “I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.”   Light bulb #2 for me.  It is the life of Jesus who is alive and present in Paul!   It is the same life that exists inside of you and me when we welcome Jesus into our life and have faith in him and his word.

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