Summary: Jonathan and David demonstrate how people are joined to one another: acknowledging a Father, receiving validation, empowering one another, working together for life.
There is a group in our church which is planning a quilt. This quilt is to depict the history of our church, with each square representing a decade in the church’s life. The finished product will be put on display so that everyone can get a picture of our history.
Now this is not the first time that someone has thought of designing a quilt as a way to portray the church. Several years ago another group began to gather materials. This first group had an idea that was different from the group that is at work now. The first group wanted to make a square for every family that is a part of the church. Their vision was to ask each family to bring something that would represent them, and then all of these symbols would be put onto squares of cloth and sewn into a quilt. The finished product would portray our church family.
I got a little concerned about that. I said to someone, “But what about all the families who are not here yet? What about all the people who will join us in the future? A quilt like this should never be finished, because new people are coming all the time, and we would not want to leave them out." A good answer came right back, "We plan to leave one end of the quilt open. It will have no border. It will just be open, and then, as new people come, we can knit their squares onto the end, and the quilt will just go on and on." That felt a lot better. I didn’t want to see us suggest that the fabric of what God is doing here is finished. I wanted to make sure that we would include everyone that God chooses to lead to this family of faith.
A quilt, with all its different squares, is a wonderful image of what God is doing with His people. He brings us together, diverse and different though we may be. But our God is, in His church, attaching us to one another in spiritual friendship. Our God is knitting a quilt.
One of the most beautiful friendships in the Bible is described in much the same way. Two young men, different in background, diverse in personality. The Bible says of Jonathan and David, the prince of Israel and the shepherd boy, that "the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul." Two souls, knit together. Their inner selves connected. What can we find out about being knit together? What does it mean for a church to be a knit quilt?
Notice first that we begin knitting souls together when we establish who our father is! We begin to knit souls together and to connect, when each one of us declares who our father is.
David had come out of nowhere and had defeated the giant Goliath on the field of battle. Small, young, untested, he had taken down the Philistine warrior who had been holding off the entire Israelite army. Nobody knew who David was. He just came out of the woodwork and fought the giant.
So King Saul, seeing David’s accomplishment, wanted to know who this is. He asked his question in a particular way. He wanted to know whose son this is! He did not ask what this young man’s name is, but what is his father’s name. He did not ask what are his credentials, and where did he go to school, and who else has he fought. He asked one and only one question, "Who is his father?"
When Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, "Abner, whose son is this young man?" Abner said, "As your soul lives, 0 king, I do not know." The king said, "Inquire whose son the stripling is." On David’s return from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with the head of the Philistine in his hand. Saul said to him, "Whose son are you, young man?" And David answered, "I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite."
When adults say to children, "Who are you?" what do they really mean? They mean, who are your parents? From what family do you come? Some of you ask me about various children around the church: who is that child? If I say, "Mark Green", that’s not enough. You say, "Is he one of Bruce and Kellie’s boys? And if you have been around here a long time, you say, "Is that Shade’s grandson?" We connect with each other when we know who the parents are. I could go back to my home church in Louisville right now, after all these years, and a few very elderly people would say, "Oh, I know who you are. You’re Margaret’s and Everett’s boy." We feel connected when we know the family somebody came from. "Whose son are you, young man?"