We want to find people we can look up to, don’t we? Just look at the many TV shows and movies based on superheroes and people who save the day. Our culture loves heroes.
TV or movie characters often capture our attention because of their ingenuity, goodness, and friendliness. In the Christian world, the mere mention of King David brings to mind the image of a hero of faith, both as a youngster who defeats a giant with a sling and as the great king of Israel who follows God throughout his life. While David wasn’t perfect, God called him “a man after my own heart.”
Psalm 4 offers another reason to emulate David: He respects God and speaks intimately with God. David doesn’t consult the Lord as an afterthought. Rather, in bad times and good, David goes to God for a solution to his problem or to revel in God’s faithfulness, and he affirms that “the Lord hears when I call.”
David’s prayer embodies boldness, confidence, humility—all traits similar to those of our top fiction heroes. David begins his prayer, “Answer me when I call, O God, . . . Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.”
David doesn’t demand or worry. He closes with these words, “I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.” He completely trusts in the Lord.
Today the Creator offers us an opportunity to imitate the best character. David has blazed a trail, showing us how to respect God and thrive in our temporary circumstances. Even when conflict and chaos seem to reign we can, as did David, sleep peacefully, knowing God as our defender, comforter, and protector.
Father, quiet our hearts and comfort us with your love. We look to you for peace and safety. Amen.
Three of the texts for this Sunday deal with intercession; although they certainly will not make praying any easier, they may make it more hopeful. The readings from both Jeremiah and the psalm depict the anguish of one who identi es with the pain of God’s faithless people. Prophet and psalmist grieve with and for the people and join in the persistent and impatient plea for health and renewal. But God turns out not to be an impassive or distant deity but one bound up with the anguish of the prophet and the anguish of the people. Likewise, the psalmist discovers that the God who refuses to tolerate Israel’s faithlessness nevertheless cannot nally abandon the chosen community. First Timothy also challenges readers to offer prayers of intercession and speci es that they be made for those in positions of political leadership.
• Read Jeremiah 8:18–9:1. Jeremiah weeps for the self-will and disrespect of his people toward God. What do you see in the contemporary world that causes you to weep?
• Read Psalm 4. How do you, like David, acknowledge God’s guidance in your life?
• Read 1 Timothy 2:1-7. Paul reminds us to pray for everyone, no matter their relation to us. How can you be more inten- tional in praying for others?
• Read Luke 16:1-13. In what ways can you take more per- sonal responsibility in being a steward for the things God bestows to humanity?
Respond by posting a prayer.
This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”
Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.