Gifted

Readings: Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 2 Samuel 7:1-17; Galatians 3:23-29

Now the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him. The king said to the prophet Nathan, “See now, I am living in a hours of cedar, but the Ark of God stays in a tent.”

Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in?..Wherever I have moved among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” 2 Samuel 7:1-2, 5b-7

When I was very young, maybe four or five years old, my sister and I picked out a present for my father: drawer knobs. We mistook them for something else, something we thought my father would be able to use. Needless to say, he was very surprised when he opened his present. Being a caring father with a wonderful sense of humor, he enjoyed them – a well intended gift from two young children who loved him. I didn’t give them another thought for years, when my mother told my sister and me about the gift mix-up. It’s still one of my favorite stories.

David’s desire to build a home for God reminds me of those drawer pulls – an offering of love and good intentions from a beloved child who reasons like a child. Since David hadn’t built the house yet, God graciously put a stop to the venture. Or at least delayed it, assuring David that one of his offspring could build such a home.

Thinking back on my own father’s response to his drawer knobs, I wonder if the building of the temple was a gift God gave his well intentioned children rather than a necessity that the children gave to God.

God, thank you for accepting the gifts I offer, even the drawer knob equivalents. Amen.

Come, Lord Jesus, Come.

Published by

Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

2 thoughts on “Gifted”

  1. Such a loving way to think of this story–it works for me for all offerings and even praises that we sing…like God needs a house or a bull or our praises? I don’t think so…but our puny efforts to acknowledge God in our lives must be like your gift to your father–the effort made to honor pleases us and maybe God–and God can make great things out of little offerings.

  2. Thanks, Bill. I think God has a sense of humor about such gifts…and a great love for all of us who offer them. peace, Johnna

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