(sermon notes by Erin Kilmer)

He was too big, really– too big to be allowed, I think–
and not big and cuddly like that one guy you knew
back in high school, who was really just a teddy bear,
oh no. He was big and mean and his armor weighed more than
you do on a fat day.

(Not just big and mean. I’m pretty sure his
breath stank and he was hairy and smelled bad too.)

And everyone was afraid, because who wouldn’t be afraid
of that big, hairy, smelly, mean bully–
as tall as two men and as heavy as four?
And so all of Israel’s army was shaking in their sandals
as Goliath defied God.

Oh, he was big. Massive. David’s brothers could see him
even in their dreams, I imagine, filling them right up
with fear. No one could fight that monstrous heap of
muscle and armor and cold cruel heartless confidence–
and Israel despaired.

You wouldn’t expect salvation to come from a shepherd,
I suppose, if you hadn’t heard this story a hundred times.
But you have– and you know the end– the sling and the stone
and the sword and the victory as the Philistines
bravely ran away.

The thing is, David saw that big smelly giant of a man,
with his beady little eyes and his rotting teeth
(okay, maybe I’m embellishing a little), but he knew God.
He knew God– the Living God– and he knew something else, too.

He knew it didn’t matter what he saw. He knew the truth
about Goliath and about God, and he knew that God had been with
him in the wilderness with those sheep and with that bear and that
fierce lion, and he knew that God was with him right there
with those five smooth stones.

Now faith is the reality of what we hope for,
the proof of things we cannot see.


It was a good sermon. If you’d like to listen, you can click here. I laughed. And I cried. And I’m not even being overly dramatic.


4 thoughts on “Bigger

  1. This is wonderful, Erin, thank you. I love this story, the moment when Davis steps away from the shadows and the sheep and fulfils his first task. Sometimes things just come together in a perfect storm, don’t they? One minute you’re delivering your brothers’ lunch and the next you’re felling a giant with a slingshot.

  2. “You wouldn’t expect salvation to come from a shepherd”

    “He knew the truth about Goliath and about God.”

    love. may we live in the Truth we know.

    i enjoy your sermon notes.

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