U-C: What I See

Friday, October 01, 2004

theological grounding for accompaniment work

Dave Roberson was a participant at the Stony Point Center Peacemaking conference this week.

He handed me a handwritten piece of paper with these quick reflections on biblical passages and stories of accompaniment. I offer them verbatim for your reflection:

St. Paul used his Roman Citizenship to change the dynamic of his encounter with the Roman Military. Faced with death threats from a violent local faction, he allows himself to be imprisoned, but gets the protection of the empire for himself to continue God’s work. What if we used our citizenship in the world’s only superpower to give cover for God’s work in the world?
There are many instances of God’s people working in companionship: Jesus sent the seventy out in pairs (Luke 10:1). God gives Moses his brother Aaron to help his mission. Paul and Barnabas; two spies who stayed at Rahab’s place in Jericho (Joshua 2), and many more.
David and Jonathan: when King Saul kicks David out of his presence, his son Jonathan intercedes with Saul and accompanies David back to court (I Samuel: 19)
David and Abiather: David takes shelter in the city of Nob and tricks the priest Animelech into aiding him. Animelech and his fellow priests are ratted out by Saul’s chief goon Doeg the Edomite (Doeg is an early example of a paramilitary!). Saul orders them all slaughtered, but his soldiers balk. But Doeg does the dirty deed and goes on to completely destroy their town. Animelech’s son Abiather escapes to David, who claims responsibility for the act., and tells Abiathar “Stay with me, and do not be afraid; for te one who seeks your life seeks my life; you will be safe with me (I Samuel: 22:23)
Deborah and Barak: The military leader of Israel is afraid to fight the Canaanites unless accompanied by the Judge and Prophetess Deborah. He says to her, “If you will go with me, I will go; if you will not go with me, I will not go.” (Judges 4)
The fourth man: When Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are thrown into the fiery furnace, a mysterious man or angel appears with them through the trial. (Daniel 3)
Tobias and Azariah: The deuterocanonical book of Tobit is a piece of Jewish folklore that tells the story of a young man who has to undertake a dangerous journey to a far city. On the way, he has to rescue a beautiful woman from the spells of a powerful demon. Fortunately, his traveling companion, who he believes to be a distant cousin, is actually the archangel Raphael in disguise.

Can we be the fourth man? Or the Archangel in disguise?

Thanks to Dave Roberson (dhrober@yahoo.com)

What do you think, you’all?