Thanksgiving through Forgiveness
Caught up in the story of indiscretion with Bathsheba are two very significant statements about Christian stewardship. They are found in the eighth verse of 2 Samuel 12 (vs.1-10, 13). These two statements recognize that first of all God gives us everything. The prophet Nathan tells David that God gave him his master’s house, and his master’s wives, and the house of Israel. As if that were not enough, he then adds a second statement: “…and if that had been too little, I would have added as much more.”
This story is an example of how we can concentrate upon the sensual, the flamboyant, and miss a great teaching. No one can ignore the sin of David. Yet, to concentrate upon the sensual and see nothing else misses the richness of God’s mercy poured out upon us.
God gives to us that which we need, rather than that which we want. God gives to us because it is the very core of God’s nature. “For God so loved the world that He gave…” Even to someone immersed in sin, God gives. To a world caught up in self-centeredness, God gives.
Before we leave this scripture, note one other gift given. It is found in the 13th verse. David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” The gift is Nathan’s reply from God, “Now the Lord has put away your sin, you shall not die.” The gift of forgiveness: what a wonderful gift!
—Rev. Don Alexander
- Would you agree, or disagree, with the statement:”The grass is greener on the other side of the fence”? Why? Why not?
- Why do we find it so hard to see stewardship teachings in some biblical passages? Do you agree, or disagree, that a stewardship lesson is found in this story?
- Do you find it hard to accept that David’s confession was immediately received and forgiveness granted? Reflect on your answer.
How Do I Act?
- Urge your pastor to have a Thanksgiving service where both thanksgiving and forgiveness are emphasized. You might want to think in terms of having an agape feast with a service and meal of thanksgiving. You can find information about the agape feast in service of worship resources.
- Plan a Thanksgiving tree in your church. Have people write on long strips of paper that for which they are thankful and attach them to the tree. Keep the tree and make it a part of your Christmas decoration.
- Make plans to meet the needs of the less fortunate during the Thanksgiving season. Collect food, clothing, etc. You may want to tell church members to bring a canned good or non-perishable for each thing that they are thankful for. If this is done, you may need to start a food pantry with the abundance!