I know this Sunday is Father’s Day and as I am at pains to point out in at least one of the sermons, I am not opposed to Father’s Day . . . I’m just more focused on the Lectionary and the texts it has for us on this or on any given Sunday.
There is a very well known story in the Old Testament. This story is so well known that the principal characters in it have become tropes in culture, namely David and Goliath. We all know what the story is about or what the image of David and Goliath means; it has become a metaphor for an unfair conflict. It is true that the conflict was unfair, the problem with our view of it is that we have it backwards. If he wasn’t such a repellant figure we might even feel sorry for Goliath, after all, he’s the one who, figuratively speaking, brought a knife to a gun fight.
So does this mean that we should feel sorry for Goliath and look at David as a bully? Not at all, what is more important here is the combination of gifts and courage. In David’s case a gift is the ability to use a sling and courage comes in when he decided to go into a place of danger to exercise this gift. I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this. What we can take from this story is the reminder that all of us have gifts but if we don’t screw up our courage if necessary and make use of those gifts we may as well not have them.
Knox Presbyterian Courage and use your gifts!
St. Mark’s Presbyterian Courage and use your gifts!
Let me know what you think of this different, if not actually counter-factual, take on a well known and well loved story.
PS if you want to hear another take on this story, quite similar to what I’m talking about, Malcolm Gladwell’s TED talk is pretty good, click here