Summary: Part 6 of a series on the life of David. Preached on Pentecost Sunday
As a child my wife and her sister would often accompany their grandmother on outings to cemeteries since their grandmother did a lot of research in the area of genealogy. They would take a picnic lunch and pick out a cemetery to go and walk through and spend hours there. I can think of many places where I would rather have a picnic and have always thought that this fascination with cemeteries was a bit odd, that is until recently.
Early Friday morning I decided to take a walk. The air was a bit chilly but the sun was beginning to peek through the clouds and the birds were singing joyfully as I drank in the beauty of the morning. For some reason I was drawn to the cemetery. I entered the gate and started walking down the road when I was suddenly overwhelmed with the awesomeness of the place. There surrounding me were the graves of thousands of people many of whom who have no other indication that they ever lived than the stone that marks their grave.
As I wandered off the road and started walking through the stones I was struck by something. Most of the stones were very similar in size and appearance and even in what they say of the person whose grave they mark. Most of the stones only tell the person’s name, birth date and date of death. There were very few indications of a person’s abilities or accomplishments. The stones didn’t tell of the person’s education or income or worldly successes. Death has a way of leveling us all.
As I continued to walk I was saddened by the realization that every new grave is only a generation or two away from never being visited again. For once everyone who knew the person dies the grave is a place that is seldom if ever visited or remembered.
There was one stone in particular which caused me to stop and think. It’s a monument of a tree that looks as if it died at the top and is now only the remainder of what would have once been a majestic piece of nature. And then it hit me: like that tree, at death, the lives of many are cut off never to grow again.
I left the cemetery that morning feeling rather small. I’m only one of billions of people alive today, not to mention the great multitudes of those who have gone on before me. What will my life mean? What difference will I make? Will my life be like that tree that died and never again produced fruit, or will my life be the beginning of something bigger than myself?
As I continued to walk I got to wondering: what causes people to be remembered? What gives a person the ability to stand out? What causes everyday men and women to rise above the mundane and become heroes?
For the past five weeks our church has been in the midst of a series entitled “Insights from the Life of David.” We’ve been looking at this man who even though he was guilty of murder and adultery was said to be “a man after God’s own heart.” Over the last five weeks we’ve discovered some incredible things about him and learned some important lessons from his story. This morning I want to look at The Power Behind the Man David because there was something different about David that caused him to rise above the ordinary and touch history in a profound way. There was something about this shepherd boy from Bethlehem that gave him the ability to kill a giant, to survive the murderous plots of his King and to be remembered as the greatest King of Israel.