We all know that moment. That moment where you’ve made some mistake and your first thought is to hide the mistake. Kids are awesome at this. Not awesome in the fact that they hide the problem well awesome in that when they do it can be super funny. Giant stain in the carpet? Put a plate over it. Broke a nick-knack? Shove it under a couch cushion. Took an extra cookie and Mom’s coming? Shove it in your mouth and mumble responses to her questions. As we grow up most of us stop attempting these sorts of techniques. OK full disclosure I still do so if you ever invite me to your home and after eating you discover someone has left a late in the middle of the floor, please don’t move it until I leave. it, at least not until I leave.
(I’m gonna need a bigger plate.)
This does continue into adulthood though. It Just sort of changes form. For instance the realtor doesn’t say “this house is a broken down dump” she says “Its a fixer upper”. And no one at a job interview says “I’m super lazy but I need a paycheck so here I am.” Instead they say “I have a strong motivation to be here. We all tend to soft peddle some issues and put our best foot forward. Although it is funny to watch someone skip the soft peddling on a first date.
(So anyway I’m unemployed live with Mom and Dad, have a serious fungal infection, and yes I just farted)
Today’s reading is a different story though.
1 Kings 1:28-37
King David answered, “Summon Bathsheba to me.” So she came into the king’s presence, and stood before the king. The king swore, saying, “As the LORD lives, who has saved my life from every adversity, as I swore to you by the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Your son Solomon shall succeed me as king, and he shall sit on my throne in my place,’ so will I do this day.” Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the ground, and did obeisance to the king, and said, “May my lord King David live forever!”
King David said, “Summon to me the priest Zadok, the prophet Nathan, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.” When they came before the king, the king said to them, “Take with you the servants of your lord, and have my son Solomon ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon. There let the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan anoint him king over Israel; then blow the trumpet, and say, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ You shall go up following him. Let him enter and sit on my throne; he shall be king in my place; for I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah.” Benaiah son of Jehoiada answered the king, “Amen! May the LORD, the God of my lord the king, so ordain. As the LORD has been with my lord the king, so may he be with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David.”
It may not jump out to you at first why this story is odd so let me give some back story. David was king and had whatever he wanted. Including at least 7 wives at the same time. On day he was on his roof a saw a beautiful woman taking a bath so he decided he wanted to get to know her better. So well in fact that she got pregnant. The problem was she was married at the time. So after several failed schemes to cover up the indiscretion David comes up with a plan that works. The bathing woman (Bathsheba) is married to a man who is in the military. David as king in in charge of the military so he sends her husband into battle on the front lines. He then orders everyone else to retreat back a bit so that her husband is sure to die in battle and he does. Then David marries her (she’s lucky number 7). So there you have it Boy meets girl, boy impregnates girl, boy kills girls husband, boy marries girl. Its not a children’s story.
(It’s like I always say Kids should stick to physics)
This brings us to the reading from above. It’s years later and the child from this relationship is all grown up, his name is Solomon. David declares that Solomon will succeed him as king and in this reading he does. Here is the thing this is just the sort of indiscretion that people try to hide. At this point David’s secret was out, you’d think he would break of contact with Bathsheba or that at least one of his other sons would become king but that is on display. This branch of the family tree is out there for everyone to see.
What makes this more interesting is that it is through this line of David’s family tree that Jesus is born. Jesus’ family tree is full of other warts and blemishes but perhaps none as public and scandalous as this one.
There is no plate on the carpet no mincing of words the child born from a sordid affair becomes a king, a great king. And from that king comes the King of Kings.
Jesus came because the world is a broken place where dumps are sold as fixer uppers where carpets are stained extra cookies are eaten and where people at times attempt to avoid responsibility for their mistakes. Jesus lineage is a testament to that brokenness. There is no attempt to hide it or put it in rosier terms. Maybe we should take a lesson rather that hide our mistakes show how they have made us the people we are today. Jesus puts it all on display, and in this story so did David and it turned out well in both cases. Perhaps we should do the same from time to time.