The first reading recounts the reaction of David to God’s promise to build David a house. David presumed he would be the one to build God a house, but God made an even greater promise to David to build him a house. And that is a promise that impacts us in a major way.
For when God promises to build a house for David, it is not the case that he is talking about a physical structure, but rather the way in which the Messiah is the fulfillment of God’s promise to David. David’s concern was to provide a “house” for God, but as the infinite, all-loving God, there is not need for that type of us.
But for us, the people of God, there is a need for the Messiah. And that Messiah is Jesus. And so this is the promise of the Messiah that becomes fulfilled when Jesus becomes fully human. And this is the reason why we have two gospels that give us a genealogy of Jesus. It is absolutely critical that Jesus ancestry be traced back to David. The fulfillment of David’s kingship is Jesus himself.
We Think too Small
It is also the case that we can find ourselves thinking too small when it comes to God. That was certainly the case with David. He was concerned because the Ark of the Covenant was in a tent. But he learned that rather than his concern for God, God’s generosity was far more than anything that he could give to God.
How often do we do that? How often is it the case that we find ourselves thinking that our generosity towards God is in any way comparable to God’s unbelievable generosity. How is it that we could think that our generosity could in any way be greater than God’s generosity?
That is the way we can think, at least I know I can. I look at some sacrifice I make and think I have done a great thing, and yet I do not often think of the greater sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. I know in all this how important it is to remember that God is not merely a somewhat better version of me. No, God is the infinite all-loving God who cares for all people deeply.
God’s generosity is always excessive. When Jesus multiplies the loaves, there are baskets left over. When Peter asks how often he must forgive, it is not once or twice, but rather the constant outpouring of forgiveness. And when Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him, he asks three times, not just once. God’s generosity meant Jesus knew Peter needed to really experience the forgiveness of Jesus.
So Let’s Think Big and Bold
God’s generosity is big and bold. The suffering and passion of Jesus was designed to get our attention, so that we would understand the depths of God’s love for each human being He created. There is nothing small about God.
Do you make God small? Do you imagine the magnificent things God can do in your life? Or, do you focus on your limitations, shortcomings, faults and sins, thinking that not even God could make something wonderful of them. Do you really believe in a large God?
For the temptation is to limit what it is that God can do in our lives. Because it can be the case that we do not always think of exactly what it means to be made in God’s image and likeness, we do not always see how it is that we can be big and bold too with God’s help.
So do not limit God. Do not make God small. Recognize that just as God did in the life of David, he has bigger plans for us. God can never be outdone in generosity, because God’s generosity is beyond anything we can imagine.