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Courage in a Scary Time

Hello friends. It is good to “see” you here again. I continue to pray that you are all getting along ok in our new normal, and that you are somehow finding moments of joy, serenity, and courage.

Today’s devotion is about Courage. Once again, we draw from the world of art. No doubt you have heard of the famous Statue of David, completed between 1501 and 1504 by Michelangelo. I had the opportunity to travel to Florence to see this statue when I was in college, and it is amazing. It is attached as a photo.

Here’s something interesting. The statue was initially placed in Florence, then an independent city-state, so that David was fiercely glaring at Rome. David is strong, brave, ready to conquer any giant – even Rome.

However, looked at from the other side, David shows a different personality. Looked at from another angle, David is fearful, full of doubt, and unsure.

I’m thinking this is true for everyone, at every time.

· Whether we are living in 1023 BCE, being called upon to fight a giant,

· Or in 1504 CE, facing a disruptive government,

· Or in 2020 CE, faced with a global pandemic,

All of us are spending our days feeling a combination of courage and fear, surety and doubt, peace and anxiety. So we can all cheer on David when he first faced his giant in scripture:

1 Samuel 17:32-37, Common English Bible:

32 “Don’t let anyone lose courage because of this Philistine!” David told Saul. “I, your servant, will go out and fight him!”

33 “You can’t go out and fight this Philistine,” Saul answered David. “You are still a boy. But he’s been a warrior since he was a boy!”

34 “Your servant has kept his father’s sheep,” David replied to Saul, “and if ever a lion or a bear came and carried off one of the flock, 35 I would go after it, strike it, and rescue the animal from its mouth. If it turned on me, I would grab it at its jaw, strike it, and kill it. 36 Your servant has fought both lions and bears. This uncircumcised Philistine will be just like one of them because he has insulted the army of the living God.

37 “The Lord,” David added, “who rescued me from the power of both lions and bears, will rescue me from the power of this Philistine.”

“Go!” Saul replied to David. “And may the Lord be with you!”

What does this mean for us? Well, you can discuss your own interpretations, but I’m thinking of two ways to reinterpret this:

· The Davids of our time are our medical professionals, who appear understaffed and undersupplied, yet who bravely go on, at risk to themselves, to save all of us.

· And, the Davids of our time are those who simply do the smart thing. Who stay inside when they so want to go out, who let go of the anxiety that drives them to do unwise things, and who instead pick up the small stone of surety that God provides.

Davids are all around us. Davids ARE us, when we can trust, when we can allow God to calm our spirits and make us brave for the facing of another day. I pray for you, my Davids, in this time. May you feel strong this day. Amen.

Now, please enjoy some music in this video from Stephen, Laura, & Samuel, singing Who Am I by Casting Crowns:

Courage to you all,

Pastor Steph

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