The lections from the Hebrew scriptures continue to extol King David. (Though we know that his story is not without its flaws). Paul continues to be poetic with the Epistle Lesson. And, Jesus in the Gospel of Mark reveals more of himself and his pattern of living. A good week for the preacher, and all three of the major lessons offer a jumping off point for proclamation.
- David lives in a house, the ark of God resides in a tent, the prophet of Nathan brings a word to the king. Thus says the LORD: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? Israel would never be the same once that house was built. But God also promises to build a “house of David”–God promises a family lineage, and a legacy that is still touching lives even to this day. A powerful story of remembrance and promise for the preacher. How have the promises to David been fulfilled in our lives and in the lives of God’s people? What does it mean to be part of this “house”?
- The Psalm recounts the covenant themes of David and Israel. God’s promises sound even better in poetry. How will we sing the old sing in a new day?
- Paul continues to evoke amazing images in his letter to the Ephesians. He pulls together a series of contrasts to explore: circumcision vs. uncircumcision (graphic for sure); aliens and strangers vs. being made family; far-off being near in Jesus–in Christ Jesus those contrasts have been torn away, the walls have been broken down and we have been reconciled and made one. Paul uses another image to express the new relationships–the temple of the Lord is being built with Jesus as the cornerstone and the Apostles and prophets as the foundation. You might say that Paul is using his skills as a tentmaker and builder to proclaim God’s new building project in Jesus Christ.
- The disciples had been out sharing the Good News, and they returned to Jesus to tell them all that they had done. Jesus takes them on retreat because they had no leisure to eat (the only time that leisure is used in the entire Bible–it is significant). Jesus’ response to the busy-ness was to get away to a deserted place. I think that Jesus attempts to do the right thing, and it is something that we all should consider. In our frantic and crazy lives, we need some time away. Though as we keep reading, the retreat is short lived. Nowhere that Jesus and the disciples went was without the pressing crowds, and their pressing needs. That is also a word for us: ministry never ends. We can take a retreat, take a break, but there is always need facing us wherever we turn. What’s a disciple to do? Continue to share the Good News. Continue to bring healing and wholeness. Continue to retreat and take care of ourselves. And repeat.
- Working Preacher notes
- Sunday Starters from the Church of Scotland
- Clippings (technical notes) from the Anglicans in Canada