David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” 2 Samuel 9:1
I grew up in a church full of traditions. One came into play when a beloved family member or friend died. Often a church pew or possibly a painting in a hallway showed up not long afterward with a brass plate affixed: “In Memory of . . .” The deceased’s name would be etched there, a shining reminder of a life passed on. I always appreciated those memorials. And I still do. Yet at the same time they’ve always given me pause because they are static, inanimate objects, in a very literal sense something “not alive.” Is there a way to add an element of “life” to the memorial?
Following the death of his beloved friend Jonathan, David wanted to remember him and to keep a promise to him (1 Samuel 20:12–17). But rather than simply seek something static, David searched and found something very much alive—a son of Jonathan (2 Samuel 9:3). David’s decision here is dramatic. He chose to extend kindness (v. 1) to Mephibosheth (vv. 6–7) in the specific forms of restored property (“all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul”) and the ongoing provision of food and drink (“you will always eat at my table”).
As we continue to remember those who’ve died with plaques and paintings, may we also recall David’s example and extend kindness to those still living.
Reflect & Pray
Who has died that you don’t want to forget? What might a specific kindness to another person look like for you?
Jesus, give me the strength to extend kindness in memory of the kindness others have shown me, but most important because of Your great kindness.