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(Presented on weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day before the invitation hymn, hymn of decision) Unlike Jesus, David was not sinless on his way to the wilderness or in the wilderness but he is described as a man after God’s own heart. Something David did that was good is that he attended a worship service on his way to the cave. He went to Ahimelech, the high priest, and was there at the tabernacle worshipping. David was there but also Doeg the Edomite was there. We find at the end of 1 Samuel 22, through the urging of Doeg, King Saul had all the priests killed and put the town of Nob to the sword. During the days of the civil rights protests, the churches on the golden side of the tracks, rarely spoke out about the injustices that were happening. It was unpopular to speak about the needs and concerns of the discontented, desperate, dark minorities. As Martin Luther King Jr would say they lost their prophetic zeal and forgot what their mission was. Jesus said to make disciples of all nations- meaning every tribe, language and culture. Let's bring this down to an individual level- Eugene Peterson says that wonderful things can happen in churches. On the run we stop at a holy place and find that there’s more to life than our circumstances. We perceive God in and around and beneath us. New life surges up within us. We discover a piece of our lives we had thought long gone, remember an early call of God, a place of prayer, remember that God saved. We leave restored, revived, and redeemed. Also terrible things can happen in churches. We can use our worship to insulate ourselves from people we have come to despise. We can stop by a holy place to cultivate a sense of superiority, look for a way to acquire an advantage over the competition, or legitimize our hate and meanness with the authority of religion. And then we leave callous, cold, and conniving. Both David and Doeg were there. Will you leave like Doeg callous, cold and conniving or will you leave like David restored, revived and redeemed?

(Adapted from Eugene Peterson's book, Leap Over a Wall, Chapter 6 Sanctuary- last page of chapter)

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