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The Rev. Dr. Peter Samuelson The Rev. Dr. Peter L. Samuelson

The Rev. Dr. Peter Samuelson is a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

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You da man!

June 19, 2010

I had a funny experience in worship last Sunday - one of those experiences where two worlds collide in an unexpected way to make you laugh.  I was listening to voice of the lay reader as she spoke the words from the 1st reading  assigned for the third Sunday in Pentecost where Nathan accuses David of an egregious  sin with the words "You are the man."  Maybe it was the way she read it, or maybe it is just my twisted mind but I heard those words spoken in the annoying way a golf fan yells them after Tiger Woods has hit a booming drive straight down the fairway "You da man!"

And then I chuckled.  For suddenly Tiger Wood's infidelity collided with King David's infidelity and though spoken from different sources with different intentions - the words were the same "You da man!"

This being the weekend of the U. S. Open, I wonder if Tiger Woods is hearing overtones of Nathan the prophet when a fan yells at him "You da man!"   He is a man grappling with the consequences of those words as Nathan intended them - to expose sin and to drive the sinner to repentance.  I have no idea if Tiger has truly repented but I see in his actions a man, like King David, sorry for what he has done and trying to make amends.  Going to treatment might be the modern version of sack cloth and ashes, for it conveys a spirit of humility and grief with the intention to do things differently.   Only time will tell if Tiger has truly changed his ways, but, like David, he is dealing with the consequences of his actions, including a threat to his relationship with his children.

I used to be annoyed when an inebriated fan would yell "You da man!" at Tiger.  Now I will smile and wonder if he hears an echo of the voice of the prophet Nathan who delivered the same message to King David.  Who knew golf could have theological overtones?!


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