Archive for the ‘fathers and sons’ Tag

Saturday 24th December “Walking in the way of peace”   Leave a comment

Well I have made it. We have reached the eve of Christ’s mass and I have managed to read the set scriptures and commentary in the booklet by Redemptorist Publications and post some thoughts on this blog every day through Advent. I have valued the exercise and want to spend time in the coming weeks reflecting on what I have written, seeing what it might say about where my faith/spiritual journey now is and maybe glean some pointers as to what the next few steps might be. However for today I will reflect on the set passages as I have done throughout this period.

The Bible passages set for today are 2 Samuel 7: 1-5, 8-12, 14; and Luke 1: 67-79.

In 2 Samuel we have King David stating he wants to build a temple for God and then Nathan being given the prophecy that is was not to be David but David’s son who would build the temple. In the passage in Luke we come to Zachariah’s prophetic song at the birth of John the Baptist. 

There are lots of echos here in my personal life.  I have long identified with David, he mucks up big time over and over again but then comes back to God with deep passion. I have often mused that he was probably bipolar (manic-depressive) as I am. He certainly portrays in some of his psalms a personal knowledge of what it is like to be depressed (e.g. Ps 32). Then here he is trying to make a grandiose gesture of building a temple – very hypomanic.  And in this story it is Nathan the prophet again who is his spiritual counsellor. My firstborn son, who is 18 next month, is called Nathan. We did not name him after the Old Testament prophet but because the name means “gift”. However my attention is always alerted when I hear passages about him read out or the amazing anthem by Handel “Zadok the Priest, and Nathan the Prophet …” about the coronation of King Solomon, David’s son who was going to go on to build the temple.

There is thus for me in today’s readings a strong theme of “fathers and sons”. This is timely for me with my own son reaching the age that in our culture we think of as adulthood. Many a musing there about what I might have been able to pass on to him for his future life. One thing I value in Nathan is he seems to have inherited from both me and his mother an independence of thought and spirit. Looking forward to watching his life unfold with the ups and downs we all face. However as any loving father would be I am a little fearful for the immediate future with all its transition and uncertainty. I have hopes but no divine prophecies for his future. 

Then tomorrow we celebrate the birth of “The Son of God”.  Intellectually I can not say what I mean by that phrase as it relates to Jesus. For decades I wrestled with that but it has become less important in my spirituality now. However at midnight communion/mass tonight I will in awe and wonder give thanks for Emmanuel … God with us!

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