Participation vs. Mere Presence

4 05 2007


2 Samuel 9 – 6 When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor.

David said, "Mephibosheth!"

"Your servant," he replied.

7 "Don't be afraid," David said to him, "for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table."

8 Mephibosheth bowed down and said, "What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?"

What strikes me about this story is that Mephibosheth is honored by David not for who he is, not because he is crippled and needs pity, and not because of what he has done (or his potential), but because he is the son of Saul.

We are respected, honored, and elevated to royal status, not for who we are, for what we've done, or for what we have accomplished.  We are honored because we are children of the King of Kings.  We are sons and daughters of God and therefore we are accepted into the Kingdom and honored.

Mephibosheth could have chosen to reject David's offer and we can choose to reject God's offer — and many do.  Sometimes this rejection comes because of words (e.g. "I don't want anything to do with God."), or through actions that imply we want the benefits without the responsibility and accountability.  In other words, we want the food, shelter, and love – along with the authority of being royal – but we don't want to actually live with the King.  What if Mephibosheth had told David, "Hey thanks man.  Just mail the stuff over to my place and I'll be happy.  In fact, why not build me a palace over there and you won't even have to see me."

Nope.  David invited Mephibosheth to live in the palace and to partake of not only the food and warmth of the castle, but also the love and relationships.

Did this require some changes on Mephibosheth's part?  Yes — but was it worth it?  Yes.  But the more Mephibosheth participated in the palace activities, the more he got through the relationship.

For me, I must submit to the ways of the Kingdom and I will get even more from the relationship.

I think back on my time living in the firehouse.  I isolated myself, rebelled against the unwritten rules, and did my best to not blend in.  How much better would this have been if I had had just gone with the flow.  If I were to fully surrender to the firehouse community, I could have had more respect, more responsibility, and more participation.  I would have received even more rewards from that participation.

All of this rings true for the Kingdom of God.  The more I participate, the more I receive.

Teach me to participate and to cooperate Lord.




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