Dear Hope Family,
Our focused consideration of Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew 1 has introduced us to Jesus as the Messiah who will save his people from their sins. That need for salvation is deep – extending all the way back to the garden with Adam and Eve, and that need for salvation is wide extending to kings who sit in power and prostitutes who languish in powerlessness. The great news of the Gospel showcased in Matthew 1 is that Jesus Christ’s mercy is just as deep and just as wide as our shared, unshakable neediness.
Our particular attention to some of the unusual suspects highlighted in the genealogy (five women – some outsiders to the covenant people of God, some shadowed in notorious lifestyles) has served to remind us of the depth and width of God’s free grace, and this week’s sermon shines a bright light on Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah.
How does Bathsheba draw out and accentuate our need of the Gospel and Jesus’ supply of grace? She stands in Scripture as a profound case of God’s mercy extending to and healing all those who have known what it is like to be voiceless, powerless, coerced, and used. It is a hard yet unavoidable fact of life in fallen world. Many folks suffer as victims. Many people are used for the indulgence of others. Many people face powerlessness in the face of victimizers. The comfort of the Gospel is that God sees, God knows, and, in the person and work of Jesus, God acts to heal the wounds of brokenness – both in the victim and victimizer.
I understand that this week’s message from 2 Samuel 11 is by nature heavy as it deals with sexual sin, adultery, and murder, and I realize that we will have a good number of children in the congregation. Please know that I will do my best to speak about these realities as honestly and discretely as I can to do justice to the text, yet I am also trying to be sensitive to the young ears in our midst as well as those who have suffered in the same way Bathsheba suffered.
Please pray that Jesus’ work will be a healing balm for us all – just as he promised it would be!
Grace and peace,