The story of King David and Bathsheba has always made an impact on me. David, favored by God and the most powerful person in the land, impregnates Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, one of his soldiers. Failing to get Uriah to return home to sleep with his wife, thereby covering up David’s transgression, he has Uriah stationed at the battle front, so that he would be killed.
David’s abuse of power is striking, and his lust for power led to an unsettled reign for him. He exhibits the all-too-human temptation to use power for selfish reasons, even if we hurt people to satisfy our own desires.
To replace living for our own “kingdom,” Jesus gives us the kingdom of God. Jesus compares the reign of God to a small seed which is planted in our heart, for us to nourish and care for, and which produces exponential growth in our life.
The reign of God is not a place, but how we look at the world, with the eyes of Christ. The seed God plants will produce a harvest of peace and justice, if we nurture it and live it as best we can. We won’t be perfect, but God is always with us to get us back on track.
“Turn away your face from my sins; blot out all my guilt. A clean heart create for me, God; renew in me a steadfast spirit.” (Psalm 51:11-12)