Lectionary Year B
July 27, 2003

II Samuel 11:1-15
Contemporary Address

Step VI - Contemporary Address

A. Goals

(JFC) A proclamation from this passage's points might facilitate some perspectives on human sin and what God does about it.

B. Describing the Audience

(JFC) Any congregation dealing with any sinfulness in their community might appreciate an attempt to clarify and celebrate God's dealing with human sinfulness.

C. Address

(JFC) A sermon entitled for this working draft, "We Sin and What To Do About It".

You sin. Surely less drastically than David did, we can hope, yet you and I do sin . . . G. Wainright's Doxology says, "In our mysterious freedom, we turn our back on God, our hands against the earth, our faces from our fellows. We idolize ourselves (more than God only and alone)". David seems to have done some so. We are tempted to do so, too.

I. David's and Uriah's Good Points and Ours
A. Their Good Points include David's decisive acting promptly upon his desires and Uriah's insisting on honoring/sympathizing with his troops' struggling in battle.
B. Our Good Points include faithfulness to high principles like Uriah's and our propensity to develop proactive styles of accomplishing goals, etc., like David did.

II. David's and Uriah's and Ours
A. Their Sinfulness included David's using Bathsheba and having her husband killed. K. Menninger's Whatever Became of Sin?, posits, "Sexual behavior can corrupt or destroy personal relationships. Therefore it can be called, 'bad' properly. For example, rape is an assault and produces mayhem, it is a form of hurting and debasing other persons for power that drives to satisfaction. That's sin."
B. Our Sinfulness might take too long to enumerate, but a few known ones might be mentioned, like sins of omission like refusing to tithe, for example. David lived, sinned and served Israel as King some 1,000 years before Christ. He couldn't have known Christ. We do, though. In Christ we discern how merciful and forgiving God is. As St. Augustine wrote, salvation is "a free and surprising gift from God who dissolves our sin."

III. God's Dealing With Sinfulness
A. Psalms 32:3f and 51, which could have been used by David to confess and repent of his sinfulness. When we read them in honesty, we can hardly help but feel remorse for our errors. When we read them contemplatively we begin to feel remorse for our sinning.
B. Our Use of Psalms, etc., can bring us noticeable peace if/when we refer to them meditatively. E.g., as we read further into the II Samuel and I Kings, we get the distinct impression that David, sinful David, served God admirably as a forgiven sinner.

We sin and God forgives us. Although we sin, God provides avenues leading right to the Throne of Grace to relieve our inevitable senses of guilt. God's merciful forgiveness enables us to live on and serve more such a God who saves us in Christ.

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