Emmanuel Baptist Church
275 State St. Albany, NY 12210
Click here for directions
|A Welcoming and Affirming Congregation||
Minister: Rev. Kathy J. Donley
Facing the Giants
Rev. Kathy Donley
Scripture Lesson:I Samuel 17
This is a story from an ancient
land and time, but in many ways,
it could be an iconic American
story, because we love to think
that we’re the little guy.
We love to cheer for the
Speaking to a graduating
Even in the church.
For decades the church in
You and I are bombarded with insistent, relentless demands for our attention, all day long. If we are going to face the giants effectively, I think we will have to re-learn the disciplines of silence and solitude and prayer. These disciplines can help us develop a stronger faith, a better sense of God’s presence and a clearer understanding of God’s call in any particular moment.
Do you see what just happened?
The king tried to give
There are all kinds of ways in which this continues to happen. Well meaning members of an older generation burden a younger generation with armor that doesn’t fit, expectations and practices that don’t work. It happens in all kinds of places –family, economics, marriage, education, churches. We who are members of the older generations need to keep this in mind. Younger folks, those of you making your way through a world of giants, may need the wisdom to politely decline the advice you’re being given. But no matter what our age, whether we are young, old, or somewhere in-between, some of our struggles may be because we are still trying to wear armor that was given to us a long time ago, armor that never fit. By the grace of God, it is never too late to lay it down.
Here’s something I love in this
Anne Lamott says, “We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be. . . . So the real issue is how do we gently stop being who we aren’t? How do we relieve ourselves of the false fronts of people-pleasing and affectation, the obsessive need for power and security, the backpack of old pain, and the psychic Spanx that keeps us smaller and contained?” Then she says, “Every single day I try to figure out something I no longer agree to do.”
Or she might have said, “Every day, I refuse to wear someone else’s armor.”
The problem with wearing Saul’s
armor is not just that it
The problem is that in
wearing the armor, Saul and his
army are responding to the giant
on the giant’s own terms.
Brothers and sisters, today we face giants. Giants that overwhelm us. Giants that threaten our personal well-being. Some of these giants, like racism and war, separate us from each other. Some of these giants, like poverty and loneliness, make it harder for people to believe in the existence of a loving God.
Other people have faced giants
And we would do well to
imitate the folks who imitated
I think of Bree Newsome, taking
down the Confederate flag in
Brothers and sister, we don’t need to become Goliath to face the giants. Becoming like Goliath just leaves us in the clutches of fear and death. What we need is the courage of a shepherd boy who trusted in the living God. What we need is the faith of a young African-American woman who can no longer wait for someone else to act. What we need is spiritual strength. What we need is careful listening to what God is asking of you and you and me.
“May God raise up for us prophets
who have glimpsed the coming of the Lord.
And if God will not raise up for us prophets,
then may God raise up in us a holy restlessness
to get God’s work done and
God’s people saved for Jesus’ sake.
May it not be long.” 
 Anne Lamott, “Becoming the Person you were Meant to Be: Where to Start,
Bruce C. Birch,
The New Interpreters
Bible, Vol. II,
 Bruce Birch, p. 1114.
A Wee Worship Book
Incarnation), @2015 Wild
Goose Resource Group,