Hello everyone! Life has been somewhat overwhelming for me over the last few weeks, as I just took the 5th service in 7 weeks on August 12th! Now I will try to get you up to date with what has been happening since I last did a blog on July 29th. That week I was busy at work and am now up to date with coding and summarising. I even managed to summarise 4 sets of notes of existing patients.
On Wednesday I met a lady I could talk to in ‘Talking Spaces’ for an hour. I need to chat to someone to help me cope when life overwhelms me! I see all that I need to do and do not know where to start to tackle it. Talking helps me begin to select where to start to do that. The first meeting was spent filling in forms and too many things tumbled out of my mouth, but it was a start! Martyn, our gardening friend, the cycling gardener from York tackled some more of the garden, so it is beginning to take shape, which is great.
On Friday it was good to have time off to relax with my beloved. I had the Sunday off on August 5th which was lovely especially as it was communion and the last service I could have with our minister, as the next Sunday August 12th would be his last, and I would miss it as I would be preaching. As always, Tim challenged us in his sermon leaving me with something to think about! His sermon was based on Nathan’s confrontation of King David in 1 Samuel. Tim was talking about the athletes competing in the hope of a gold medal and also a 100 runs scored at Headingly in the cricket; it would make them heroes, so that they stand out as individuals because of their success! It would be the reward for their hard work and endurance as they trained from early in the morning to late at night!
King David was a classical Jewish hero, regarded as the greatest king for century after century! He could do no wrong until he was tempted by Bathsheba as she took a bath and committed adultery with her, so she became pregnant; and David’s attempt to cover up his wrongdoing sent her husband to his death in battle.
Just like the celebrities of our day find their failings brought to the public’s attention through the tabloid press, Nathan told David a story of the rich man’s taking of the poor man’s pet sheep, drawing David’s condemnation of the rich man, only to find that he was the man and had condemned himself! He may have been the greatest King but he had feet of clay. An innocent child would die as a result of his actions. He had committed adultery and murder to hide his actions, but had not seen that it was wrong, until Nathan told the story of the poor man’s sheep. The murder was initially in his eyes collateral damage but he recognised that he had been caught, when he understood the message behind Nathan’s story. Nathan has shown him that there is no separation between private and public morality. He knew that there would be consequences for David’s family; it would be torn by rivalries and conflict and destruction. If a king sees it is alright to take what he wants, then why shouldn’t officials below him or even his own sons not follow his example and take what they want too?
What perceptions of moral values do we as families or we as a nation reveal in our lives? Do we profit from those who are weaker than ourselves? Who is our Nathan? Who loves us enough to be that honest and challenge us? Who do we love enough to speak in such a way as to confront evil with courage? As David came to realise all our choices have consequences. Who do we challenge when the weakest and abused are ignored? Remember that rot can begin in the most unexpected people even the greatest have feet of clay! The decisions we make matter as they have consequences. We do need to speak out if we see injustice and not let the vulnerable or homeless be marginalised further. How do we help those who are homeless get back on their feet? They are broken people who may make several false starts in their efforts to get back to independent living, but must not be rejected if or when they fail. If their chances are revoked, as they are not recognised as broken people, they may give up hope and be unable to accept help. Tim challenged us to remember that when the weakest and most broken are ignored and trampled on, there will be destructive consequences for communities. That is a challenge I cannot forget and want others to recognise too!