Vicar’s Reflection: 8th July 2018, 14th Ordinary Sunday
King David was Israel’s greatest king. The leadership of this one man raised the nation to its greatest strength. He ruled for forty years, united the tribes into one nation, secured Jerusalem as the national capital and central citadel which it is to this day. He brought the Ark of the Covenant to this capital city making it both a political and a religious centre for the nation. During his reign he held off enemy nations: Philistines, Moabites Ammonites and Syria and formed a strategic alliance with Hiram the Phoenician King, giving access to lucrative sea-trade. Yet there was a weakness in David that undermined all his accomplishments, a weakness as contemporary as today’s headlines. He sexually exploited women, had multiple wives and mistresses. He failed as a husband and father. He left his sons and heirs a heritage of murderous dissension that led eventually to civil war and the destruction of the nation. At best he was described as “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Sam 13:14). He was superbly gifted and skilled, and despite his weaknesses did great things. St Paul teaches that through God’s grace, the weaknesses of even the least of us can help us to serve God better, but we must acknowledge them and look to God for strength to overcome. This requires a sense of humility and understanding of our place amongst others – as part of a body, the Body of Christ. We belong to and are accountable to one another, this is true community.