2 Kings 22:1-13
There are so many things you can get out of this account of the life of the young king Josiah. As a child I loved this story because it inspired me to see that I could make a difference. Perhaps even while young I can find a calling to make the world a better place. And it showed me that ultimately that I did not have to wait until I was grown up and had all the answer I believed grown ups had to life. Wherever I was and whenever I found myself, God was open to me like a loving parent, like a friend.
Yet I also am struck by the fact this child is teachable. So often when I discuss life and faith with others, I find people proclaiming loudly they have already arrived at life. It may be because of this young king’s youth, but he is a model in his willingness to learn, to grow, to ask questions and not assume that the way society is organized is how it has to be. Too often we cling to the security blanket of comfortable orthodoxies which may in fact not fit the lives we and others have, forgetting to be open-minded to the voice of others, to the God who is still speaking. And I find, too, this includes ironically often not being open-minded to the words of Scripture itself, even among those who claim the loudest they are following it.
Scripture is clear that we are not truly worshipping God if we go through the motions of religion and yet neglect the poor, the marginalized, the immigrant, the child. And yet so often we who claim to be peoples of the Book focus on our high-minded theology and fail to see those in need all around us. Too often religion is a safety net, a barrier, to keep those around us at bay rather than a pathway to compassion.
Let us learn the teachable, open heart of a child. Let us open to God, to each other, and to God’s good earth.
And I ain’t whistling Dixie here,
Your progressive redneck preacher,