[Uucf-bible] 2 Samuel 7:1-14a
crockejw at email.uc.edu
Fri Jul 21 15:54:16 EDT 2006
I have been out of town and am just now catching up on my email. Thanks for
this scripture and reflection.
The reference to bringing together Gentiles and Jews in a "dwelling place of
peace and reconciliation" and Kate Huey's observation that this is a
"barrier that seems irrelevant to us today but was nevertheless formidable
in that day" provoked me to consider. What would be a formidable
reconciliation in today's world that requires a miraculous intervention by
Yahweh? Several formidable divides come to mind. Christians and Muslims. I
remember the days of formal dialogue between Jews and Christians. The Pope
has acknowledged some antisemitism in Christianity. When will the Pope meet
with Muslim Imams? Or I would like to see UUs and Evangelical (and other
conservative) Christians open dialogue with one another. What do we hold in
common that we can share?
The phrase "people of faith" has become current in our national political
vocabulary. Generally, however, the phrase refers to conservative
Christians who share certain positions on abortion and sexuality and who
vote Republican. But are we UUs (Christian or not) also people of faith? I
attend hurch every Sunday am an active lay leader and try to practice my
religion in my daily life and in how I vote--so I am a person of faith also.
So two points--I want to be included in the discussion among people of faith
AND this reflcetion on Samual and Epesians has challenged me. Do I have
[enough] faith to believe that crossing some of today's formidable divides
are possible and as a UU disciple of Jesus what can I do to make it happen?
Jim Crocker-Lakness, Heritage Universalist, Cincinnati
----- Original Message -----
From: "Erika Noll Webb" <erikanollwebb at comcast.net>
To: "'biblical conversation, study,and spirituality'"
<uucf-bible at lists.uua.org>
Sent: Monday, July 17, 2006 5:53 PM
Subject: [Uucf-bible] 2 Samuel 7:1-14a
> Sorry to once again post only what was dropped in my lap, but some weeks
> like that! This is from Samuel again, and tells the story of David, and
> that God will make David a house. Given the strong emphasis in some of
> Gospels on establishing Jesus' connection to the House of David, this
> is pretty critical as a set up for some of the things that happen in the
> Gospels. The fulfillment of this prophecy was supposed to be the coming
> the Messiah.
> Week leading to Sunday, July 23
> 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
> Weekly Theme
> God's Place
> Focus Statement
> "Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house."
> Focus Scripture
> 2 Samuel 7:1-14a
> Now when the king was settled in his house, and the LORD had given him
> from all his enemies around him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, "See
> now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent."
> Nathan said to the king, "Go, do all that you have in mind; for the LORD
> with you." But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan: Go and
> tell my servant David: Thus says the LORD: Are you the one to build me a
> house to live in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up
> people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a
> tent and a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about among all the people of
> Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel,
> whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, "Why have you not
> built me a house of cedar?"
> Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the LORD
> hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince
> over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and
> cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great
> name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a
> place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in
> their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict
> no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people
> Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the LORD
> declares to you that the LORD will make you a house. When your days are
> fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your
> offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will
> establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will
> establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him,
> he shall be a son to me.
> Focus Meditation
> By Kate Huey
> David has made a long and difficult journey from pasture to palace, from
> shepherd boy to prince, from persistent warrior to a king whose reign
> promises peace for the people at last, peace and a place of their own.
> David, in a house of his own, thinks about the ark being in a tent and
> realizes that God deserves a house, too. Don't they say that "We make
> and God laughs"? God, through the prophet Nathan, turns the tables on
> and says, "You think you're going to build me a house? I'M going to build
> YOU a house. A house that will last much longer and be much greater than
> anything you could build yourself with wood and stone. A house that will
> shelter the hopes and dreams of your people long after 'you lie down with
> your ancestors'." God promises to establish David and his line "forever,"
> and this is a "no matter what" promise, even if the descendants of David
> sin, even if "evildoers" threaten.
> The reading from 2 Samuel goes very nicely with the Epistle reading from
> Ephesians if we think about the power and promises of God to build us a
> house of our own, a dwelling place of peace and reconciliation. Just as
> amazing as the victory and security at last of the people of Israel is the
> vision of bringing together Gentiles and Jews, the uncircumcised and the
> circumcised, across a barrier that seems irrelevant to us today but was
> nevertheless formidable in that day. Strangers and aliens become citizens
> with the saints when they come home to the house that God builds in
> whose cross trumps "the law's ability to make qualitative appraisals
> different kinds of people" (Matthew L. Skinner, New Proclamation Year B).
> become with them members of a household built on a Cornerstone who is the
> fulfillment of God's promise of peace and healing and reconciliation. The
> Gospel reading from Mark illustrates just what this Cornerstone is about,
> drawing great crowds of desperate people to himself, people hungry for
> healing, for food, for forgiveness, for hope. In Christ, the dividing
> that we have built (instead of a sacred dwelling place for God!) are torn
> down, all of our paltry attempts to build barriers falling short of God's
> power to create community not out of stone and wood, gold and silver,
> stained glass and soaring ceilings, but out of people and the promise that
> shapes them into a community that says yes to the call to follow Jesus, to
> love one another and the world. In our United Church of Christ
> congregations, strangers and aliens become sisters and brothers because of
> "no matter what" promises we make to one another.
> People who are very different from each other, whose differences make a
> difference in other settings but make no difference here, come together
> are joined together by the power of God into a household, a "whole
> joined together," growing into a holy temple. If you think about the ark
> the covenant, God's dwelling place in the 2 Samuel passage, being mobile
> moving about among the people, you may find a better way to think of the
> church than just buildings. No matter how beautiful and sacred the space
> our churches may be, the church is the people, the Spirit moving within
> the community sent just as much as the community gathered. It's ironic
> the imagery of cornerstones, structures, and foundations all sound rather
> heavy for a people on the move.
> The call to peace also has implications for our life beyond the walls of
> churches, for our public life in which we have the opportunity and
> obligation to make sure that all of God's children share in the goods that
> God has so abundantly provided in creation. In today's world, that means
> health care and a social safety net, protection for children and the
> vulnerable, like the widows, orphans, and strangers so long ago. It means
> good schools and care for the elderly, nourishing food and clean water for
> all, not just for some, clean air and unpolluted land not just for us but
> for those far away and for the generations who will follow us. It means
> money for building instead of money for tearing down, blowing up, and
> destroying, money for peace and plowshares instead of wasting our precious
> resources on armaments and war. It means that God's house is all of
> and all of it is sacred, that God's place is shared by us but not owned by
> us, that God's law requires us to recognize and honor the image of God
> dwelling within each one of us. Rather than presuming that God approves of
> our political systems, we should look at our public life and see if God
> approves of our systems of sharing and justice.
> Would God approve of the house we have built for one of politics: "In
> God risks the dangers of ideological manipulation of faith for the sake of
> bringing the grace of divine promise into close engagement with public and
> political realities. The church can do no less" (Bruce Birch, The First
> Second Books of Samuel: Introduction, Commentary, and Reflections" in The
> New Interpreter's Bible, volume 2). What is the long journey that you have
> taken; from where did you come, and where are you now? Where are you
> Who are the people who may be effectively kept out by the walls of your
> community, both physical and metaphorical? What walls have come down in
> life together, in your personal life, in the greater community and the
> world? Who or what in your community decides who is the insider, and who
> the stranger and the alien?
> All Readings for This Week
> 2 Sam 7:1-14a with Ps 89:20-37
> Eph 2:11-22
> Mark 6:30-34,53-56
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