An archaeologist digging in the Negev Desert in Israel came upon a mummy. He called the curator of a museum and exclaimed, “I’ve just discovered a 3,000 year-old mummy of a man who died of heart failure!”
The curator replied, “Bring him in. We’ll check it out.” A week later, the amazed curator called the archaeologist: “You were right about the mummy’s age and cause of death. How in the world did you know?”
“Easy. There was a piece of paper in his hand that said, ’10,000 Shekels on Goliath’.”
How big was this Philistine? How frightening? The earlier text says: “One of their shock-troopers stepped out from the Philistine ranks [Goliath]…his breastplate weighed 5,000 shekels of bronze…the head of his spear weighed 600 shekels of iron. A shield bearer walked in front of him.”
He was six cubits and a span tall – that’s 8 to 10 feet tall. He was bigger than anyone on the New York Giants team.
And David was severely criticized by his peers: “Why have you come down here? Whom did you leave in charge of those few sheep…? I know your insolence and your wicked heart…”
But that didn’t stop David. You and I have some smooth stones in our arsenal as we face divisions in our Christian churches. Another January has moved us closer to the unity Jesus prayed for the night before his crucifixion.
Let me share another story to illustrate the hope we live in as Christians facing the challenges of a sometimes hostile world. Father Brendan McGuire shares this story about a football game between Gainesville State School and a private school, Grapevine Faith Christian.
Grapevine had an unbeaten season. The other team was the state penitentiary for juvenile offenders, 280 of the hardest juvenile criminals in the state, who had not won a single game yet.
What happened transformed not only the state penitentiary but also the town around it. The Grapevine Faith Christian Church spectators divided themselves in half, sat across from other, and each cheered for their team.
Yes! Half donned the jerseys of the state penitentiary and cheered for those young boys as if they were their own, calling them by the numbers they wore and shouting for them by their names.
The transformation was amazing. The state school scored more touchdowns in that game than they had in the entire previous eight games. They didn’t win, but they really played as if somebody believed in them.The event transformed the town as well as the students at the penitentiary itself.
The game put a human face on the Gainesville youth, and from then on when their parents came into town, they were welcomed as their own because now the boys were known by name. And they were cheered for off the field as much as on the field.
We have one smooth stone in our arsenal that can take on giants any time. It will fly straight to the mark and enable us to think the best of each other. Love is our giant slayer!
Love covers a multitude of sins, casts out fear, heals all and unites us no matter the color of our jerseys or the name of the church we attend.