Senior Sermon:  “WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR”

13 June 2010, Third Sunday After Pentecost

Matt Bonn
Congregational Church of Brookfield (UCC)

Third Sunday After Pentecost
June 13, 2010

2 Samuel 11:1-27 and 12:1-13


God is our friend. If an individual is willing to extend the hand of friendship to God, he always seems to find a way to return the favor. If God is our friend, then the church is subsequently our friend. Much like in the story of David and Nathan, the church will be a friend through the good times and the bad, whether it be a supportive hand in the time of need, or a correctional one when we get off track in life. So as us graduates look back on our years here at the congregational church of Brookfield, I think I speak for all of us when I say, this church has been an amazing friend. The church has helped us reach out to others through God, reach within ourselves through God, and most importantly share God’s message with one another through his love and friendship.

When we went to New Orleans a couple years ago, at one of the job sites we met a young man; who’s name may or may not have been Caleb It's slipped my mind. But at any rate, he was different than us. At age 11 he had done more illegal and immoral things than all of us combined could even think of. He wanted to help us work, but it seemed to all of us he was a lot more interested in annoying us than helping us. But he wanted to help, and he worked harder than anyone at the job site (with the exception of Mr. McPadden, NO ONE works harder than him). This boy was searching for a way to help, so God sent us to be his friend, and share God's friendship with him. I was really proud of myself and the whole group collectively for taking this boy under our wing, setting aside our differences and connecting this boy with God.

Many of us traveled the country over the past few summers, performing much needed mission work in the lives of many people, who were searching for someone like God to put them back on their feet again. We were all more than happy to do whatever we could to put a smile on these people’s faces, all the while doing so in the name of God. When I thought about the term, "In the name of God", I began to realize that "As a friend of God" may be the better term. Because what we did and when someone does an act "in the name of God", we are really being God's friends, and carrying out our friendships with God. These people in Florida, West Virginia, Louisiana and New York needed to strike up a friendship with God, and hopefully these acts of mission, however small or large they may be, provided the catalyst for a friendship that so many people need.

I would like to say farewell for the time being to this church, and put on hold such an important friendship in all of our lives. Us graduates would like to thank each and every one here for being our friends, and God's friends along with us. Thank you again



2 Samuel 11:1-27 and 12:1-13
David and Bathsheba

 1 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king's men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.
2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, 3 and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, "Isn't this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" 4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then [a] she went back home. 5 The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, "I am pregnant."
6 So David sent this word to Joab: "Send me Uriah the Hittite." And Joab sent him to David. 7 When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going. 8 Then David said to Uriah, "Go down to your house and wash your feet." So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him. 9 But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master's servants and did not go down to his house.
10 When David was told, "Uriah did not go home," he asked him, "Haven't you just come from a distance? Why didn't you go home?"
11 Uriah said to David, "The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my master Joab and my lord's men are camped in the open fields. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and lie with my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!"
12 Then David said to him, "Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back." So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 At David's invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master's servants; he did not go home.
14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15 In it he wrote, "Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die."
16 So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were. 17 When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David's army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.
18 Joab sent David a full account of the battle. 19 He instructed the messenger: "When you have finished giving the king this account of the battle, 20 the king's anger may flare up, and he may ask you, 'Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn't you know they would shoot arrows from the wall? 21 Who killed Abimelech son of Jerub-Besheth [b] ? Didn't a woman throw an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you get so close to the wall?' If he asks you this, then say to him, 'Also, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.' "
22 The messenger set out, and when he arrived he told David everything Joab had sent him to say. 23 The messenger said to David, "The men overpowered us and came out against us in the open, but we drove them back to the entrance to the city gate. 24 Then the archers shot arrows at your servants from the wall, and some of the king's men died. Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead."
25 David told the messenger, "Say this to Joab: 'Don't let this upset you; the sword devours one as well as another. Press the attack against the city and destroy it.' Say this to encourage Joab."
26 When Uriah's wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. 27 After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the LORD.
Nathan Rebukes David
1 The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, "There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.
4 "Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him."
5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, "As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die! 6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity."
7 Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master's house to you, and your master's wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9 Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.'
11 "This is what the LORD says: 'Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.' "
13 Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD."
Nathan replied, "The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.




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