This Sunday's lesson from 2 Samuel1:26-12:13 follows the reading from last week, and describes the prophet Nathan's confrontation with King David about his immorality. Someone has to speak truth to power and make clear what the King has ignored and is blatantly obvious to everyone else. Nathan presents a moral issue to David where an unknown offender has stolen a lamb that was precious to its owner. David is outraged by the naked violation of ethical norms. Who is this vile person who ought to be punished? Nathan answers, "You, you are the man." I have wondered over the years about how Nathan delivered this indictment. Was it a thundering accusation? Or was it a barely-whispered, sorrow-filled complaint? I have found myself in situations, that I did not want to be, delivering a similar message to someone who was hiding their sin and had damaged their congregation. I grieved that we were caught in human failure, that neither one of us were perfect. And it was doubly painful when the other person was my friend. We all have sinned. Just admit it. There is a crack in creation to which we all have contributed. Repentance begins there at that moment of confession.
And so does mercy and forgiveness and grace and restoration. As the words form in the heart and spill from the lips, I am sorry, a new journey begins.