Sermon Notes- July 15, 2012

Year B- Pentecost 7-Proper 10

2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b -19
Psalm 24 (UMH 755)
Ephesians 1:3-14
Mark 6:14-29

The Old Testament lesson and Psalm are two of my favorite passages in the Bible.  They are not meant to link up with the Epistle and Gospel.  If I were preaching this week, it would be no choice.  David dancing and leaping before the ark of God wins hands down over the beheading of John the Baptist.

  • What is special about the lection from Samuel? For me, it is the image of a king who is without pretense and who  leads with reckless joy.  This is not a calculating politician who parses every verb, but lives before the people in a most human way. I believe his dance in a linen ephod before the people and before God is a sign of pure commitment and the kind of foolishness that can only be described in Kingdom terms.  The numerous offerings to God were extravagant, maybe too extravagant, but then the God of all creation is way more generous than we will ever be. It was fitting that they all shared a meal together of meat, bread and food.  All good celebrations include a meal of some kind.  May our worship this week be as celebrative. (Here’s a good resource that just came in by email today- David’s Dance by Rev. Beth Birkolz on DayOne)
  • The Psalm is the excellent compliment to the dance. A Psalm of praise for the King worthy of a dance.  Sing this one in some form or fashion.  It is meant to be sung (and danced).
  • The Epistle Lesson is the owning of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.  It is in its own way a hymn of praise to God who made us God’s children through Christ. Paul is quite lyrical in presenting the Gospel of grace and forgiveness.  There are parallels throughout the pericope between Christ and humans–he was God’s child, we became God’s children through him.  Christ received the great inheritance from God, we too have received a great inheritance through Christ.
  • The Gospel Lesson is one of those tough passages that are difficult to preach.  The majority of the passage is the background story of John the Baptist’s head being given to his daughter on a platter.  But, there is the proclamation of Herod who says about Jesus-“John the Baptist, whom I beheaded, is raised.”  It is a powerful story that even a foreigner in Israel, an oppressor among God’s people recognizes the Holy One of God. Are we as  aware of God’s presence among us?
  • Sermon Nuggets
  • From Ministry Matters

 

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