A Face to turn to (2 Samuel 13,38-14,24; 1 John 4,7-end) Wednesday after Third Sunday after Trinity Sunday / Book of Common Prayer lectionary
‘And the king said unto Joab, Behold now… go therefore, bring the young man Absalom again. So Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. And the king said, Let him turn to his own house, and let him not see my face. So Absalom returned to his own house, and saw not the king’s face.’
The earthly king turns away his face; God does not. This very same painful human situation. Now king David turns away his face from Absalom, his own son. As if his own permanent refusal by King Saul, would not offer a lesson. This refusal prompted David to contemplate God’s face continuously. And now he fails in the same way. What surrounded Saul was the tempest of mistrust, jealousy, permanent war-campaigns, and power-games. We can see how David yearned for a genuine nourishment and acceptance by God, and now, he fails. His face is not shown to his son. The same mistrust will lead soon Absalom’s betrayal, and open revolt against him.
John, in his letter, invites us to break this cycle, and return to the spirit of the praying David. ‘Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God: and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God.’
When we see the ‘facelessness’ of our world, its (our!) problems - do we turn to Christ as the Face of God? What prayers do we pray, ‘what psalms do we write’ in the spirit of David? If we accept a faceless world, God will become faceless and voiceless for us. The world, our culture, hijacked by the demons of consumption and ‘economic growth’, will never reflect our true face, our true self. Let us seek God’s life-giving Face in Christ!
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..