Today is Monday the 24 January, the feast of St Francis de Sales, in the third week of Ordinary Time.
The Porter’s Gate sings, ‘Benedictus’: “You will guide our feet”. How is the Lord guiding you at the moment, in your life?
Today’s reading is from the Second Book of Samuel.
2 Sam 5:1-7, 10 Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron, and said, ‘Look, we are your bone and flesh. For some time, while Saul was king over us, it was you who led out Israel and brought it in. The Lord said to you: It is you who shall be shepherd of my people Israel, you who shall be ruler over Israel.’ So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron; and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for forty years. At Hebron he reigned over Judah for seven years and six months; and at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah for thirty-three years. The king and his men marched to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, ‘You will not come in here, even the blind and the lame will turn you back’—thinking, ‘David cannot come in here.’ Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, which is now the city of David. And David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him.
Our reading today contains some strong images to do with leadership. David – called by God to be a shepherd to God’s people – is approached by the elders of Israel, his own ‘flesh and blood’, and anointed king. What is resonating or perhaps jarring with you from these images?
We are told that David makes a pact with the people, that his reign is long and successful and that it includes the military capture of Jerusalem - restored as the capital of a united Israel. How do these facts make you feel about David, the great king of Israel? What do they put you in mind of?
The Gospels tell us that Jesus – a descendent of David - is also a shepherd of God’s people and a different kind of king. As you listen again to the reading, are there any echoes or foretastes of Jesus’s kingdom that strike you? How is God’s reign different?
As David grew ‘greater and greater’ as king, ‘the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him.’ Where might God be inviting you to grow ‘greater and greater’ in the service of God’s kingdom? Spend a few moments now speaking from the heart to the God who is with you.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.