It's not a new concept...there have been "culture wars" between people with conflicting world views, theologies, philosophies and political opinions pretty much as long as there have been people. Conflicts that pit one faction against another, or one perspective against another are part and parcel of being human. Why then do we wind up putting so much energy into things that only seem to serve the widening of divisions between us? In the end, I think it boils down to a succinct need we, as groups of human beings, have to be distinct from other groups, to be protected from dissent when people with conflicting ways and opinions intrude upon our lives and the practices we enjoy while living life from our previously formed perspectives.
Today we are reading again about the tension between competing perspectives on life (and as always in the case of scripture, on life in relationship with God). Saul is getting to the end of his rope. His conflicts with God, himself and the Philistines are overwhelming him and he is undone along with his whole household. David's time amongst the Philistines is coming to a close as well. His deceit, living under Achish in exile while at the same time raiding the people who protect him, is no longer tenable. The morass they are wading through, brought on by Saul's dis-ease of mind and soul, is coming to resolution. The hardest thing each man faces is how to choose the right action in the face of the challenges that their unsustainable choices have created for them and the people who follow them.
|Saul falls on his own sword|
|Peter heals a man crippled from birth|
He uses that opportunity to call the people to right action: believe in the reality that Jesus-whom they killed-is the author of life. Choose to repent and amend life in order to be healed and forgiven. Make a commitment to continue to live an amended life. See that what you were so certain of just a moment ago is a delusion that is passing away.
Powerful words from a simple fisherman from a small village in a remote region of a backwater province.
And yet, that call to right action is still provocative enough to rouse our hearts and minds to respond today.