While King David is obviously at the center of today’s scripture, I find I am drawn to the prophet Nathan. Nathan is introduced here as a kind of spiritual advisor to the king. We don’t know whether he applied for this position or was appointed, but he is there when David begins to reflect on the need to build a house for the Lord. When David observes that it is a shame the ark of the covenant is still in a tent, Nathan quickly supports him. While it might appear that Nathan is simply being a “yes man,” we have no reason to think that he doesn’t actually agree with David. A temple would be a wonderful way to honor God!
By the next morning, of course, Nathan has changed his mind. Or more accurately, God has changed it for him. It is not David’s job to build a holy temple but to trust God to build a holy people. This is an amazing and courageous shift. Just the day before, Nathan saw things one way. Now he sees them differently. And he is ready to say so, even to the king.
The Christian Century magazine has occasionally featured a series called “How My Mind Has Changed.” In this series, various religious leaders have shared how their thinking on significant issues has shifted over time. These faithful thinkers were not being wishy-washy. They were just ready to keep listening to the voice of God and changing their minds as they had new insights and experiences.
Certainly we are called to be unwavering in our commitment to the basic tenets of our faith—loving God and neighbor. But God’s Spirit may change our hearts and our minds about how we live out these foundational beliefs.
Guide us today, O God, so that we can be attentive to your Spirit and have the courage to change our minds. Amen.
David was God’s anointed king over Israel. He believed God desired a house, a temple worthy of God. But God wanted David to understand that only God can build things that truly last. Thus, God promised to construct a dynasty from David’s family. From this line will eventually come the ultimate King, the Messiah, who will rule God’s people forever. The Messiah will complete God’s work of uniting all people as children of God, and the author of Ephesians declares that this has happened through Christ. All God’s people—Jew and Gentile—are now part of a holy, spiritual temple. In Mark, Jesus shows that part of being a great king is showing compassion. He puts aside his own desires to help those in need of guidance and healing.
Read 2 Samuel 7:1-14a. When have you changed your opinion on something significant? What led to the change?
Read Psalm 89:20-37. What helps you recall God’s faithfulness in times when you may feel abandoned?
Read Ephesians 2:11-22. Where have you found Christ breaking down dividing walls between groups of people? What part does your Christian community play in bringing people together?
Read Mark 6:30-34, 53-56. When have you had an experience of illness or accident that left you isolated from community? How did that increase your awareness of others in that situation as you moved to health?
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