Sunday's Sermon Snippet
Conflict: The Friend of My Enemy Is... (1 Samuel 20)
After the young shepherd David defeated the giant Goliath, his fame spread throughout the land, and King Saul became jealous. Saul appointed David as a commander of troops in hopes that he might die in battle and later concocted a variety of schemes to rid himself of his increasingly popular rival. While Saul hated David and sought to kill him, Saul's daughter Michal fell in love with and married David while Saul's son Jonathan became a close friend - a spiritual friend even - to David. Jonathan intervened with his father on his friend's behalf to try to preserve his life and the peace of the land. This rivalry between Saul and David reaches fever pitch as David and Jonathan hatch a plan to test whether Saul truly wants to kill David, and Jonathan helps David escape Saul's wrath and endures that wrath for himself.
Poor Jonathan is caught in between his loyalty to his father and his love for his friend. In a world like his and like ours, that is a hard place to be. When conflict arises and we are in the middle of it, the two sides often demand that we choose a side - one or the other. We operate by the axioms, "The friend of my enemy is my enemy; the enemy of my friend is my enemy." In the entangled web of our relationships, that eventually makes for few friends and many enemies. This is the world of Saul who demanded that Jonathan be loyal to him and him alone and insults him - even throwing a spear at him - over his friendship with David.
David, on the other hand, treats Jonathan in an unexpected way. While he expects Jonathan to deal truthfully and openly with him because of the covenant they have with one another, David does not demand that Jonathan renounce his father. David recognizes that even after helping him Jonathan will return to his father. As the story continues onward from this point, we find Jonathan serving his father even as Saul attempts to hunt down David to kill him. Despite this, David still mourns Jonathan upon his death as a dear friend. This is the world of David who does not need absolute loyalty from his friend. He loves Jonathan even when they are on opposite sides of the conflict because he trusts him and knows him to be a good man. The conflict does not change their friendship.
Our world often tells us that the way of Saul - you are either for me or against me - is the only way, but we are called to something greater and better. The way of David means that we can remain friends even when we disagree or fight over things. We can love one another and still hold each other in respect even while the world and its conflicts try to tear us apart. In the world of David, in a faithful world, the friend of my enemy is still my friend, because true friendship does not require that we agree on everything.
Living in Community
Prayers of Christian sympathy to Margaret
and the entire Chandler family upon Virginia's passing.
Thank you to everyone who came out to support them
at the family night and the funeral.
A special thank you to everyone who helped provide a meal for the family.
This Week at Port Church
Wednesday, August 22
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Thursday, August 23
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Sunday, August 26
9:30 am - Worship: "Conflict: The Lord's"
11:00 am - Sunday School
Additional Communion Server Training - September 9, following worship
Philippians Bible Study in Sunday School - September 9
Wednesday at the Port - September 12, 6 pm
Potato Drop hosted at Grottoes UMC - September 15, 12 noon
225th Anniversary Celebration - September 29, 3 pm - until
Nativity Workday - October 6
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!
8525 Water Street
PO Box 116
Port Republic, VA 24471