Thanks to all who helped with the Grey Eagle Community Island Service. The day was not too hot (at least until after the service) and the fellowship was wonderful. A lot of people did a lot to make it work: Jim Hammersten, his daughter Linnea Ingold, and the Tschida Family, John and Janet Roe, Bob and Nancy Kutter, Lois Sorenson, Tara Prout, and everyone who brought food for the dinner. Thank you all.
This week we will be taking a minor deviation from the gospel lesson because of last week’s deviation. Our readings are:
2 Samuel 7:1-14a – I am not sure why the Lectionary Committee decided to end the reading at the first part of verse 14. The reading should go to verse 17. David is now the undisputed king of the twelve tribe of Israel and all external enemies have been defeated. David even has a palace (home) to live in and wants to build a temple (cedar home) for the Ark of the Covenant. The bulk of the reading is God speaking to the prophet Nathan. Nathan is to tell David not to build the temple for God hasn’t needed a temple before. God will also raise up one of David’s sons to build the temple. God also promises that David’s “house”, meaning family, will rule Israel forever.
Psalm 89:20-37 – The first part of this Psalm, verses 1-37, describes and praises God for the covenant made with David for an everlasting dynasty. The second part, verses 38-52, chastises God for breaking that covenant. Because of this, we can infer that David did not write the Psalm and that it may have been written about the time of the Babylonian Exile. Our reading is a section that remembers the rule of David and God’s promise to him.
Jeremiah 23:1-6 – This is a warning to the leaders of God’s people. If the leaders scatter the flocks then God will raise up new shepherds to lead. Some have speculated that this was one of several passages that Jesus was referring to in John 10, the Good Shepherd discourse.
Psalm 23 – Is there anything left to say about this most famous Psalm? It comes up in our readings about 3 times a year. The last time was in April.
Ephesians 2:11-22 – There is a lot of thinking to be done with this passage. Two who were far apart, the Jews who were near to God and the Gentiles who were far from God, are brought together by the blood of Jesus Christ. The dividing wall has been torn down. The law has been abolished so God can create one humanity. The two are reconciled in one body because of Christ’s death on the cross. We are no longer strangers but are one family in God’s house in which Jesus is the cornerstone. Since I haven’t asked many questions today here are a few. Why does humanity keep putting up walls to divide: Democrat/Republican, Conservative/Liberal, citizen/non-citizen, Hispanic/black/Asian/white, rich/poor, straight/gay? As the late Rodney King asked once, “Why can’t we all just get along?” Isn’t that why we killed Jesus, because we need our victims, our stumbling blocks? But God took the block we stumbled on and made him the cornerstone of our new life in God’s household (1 Peter 2).
Mark 6:30-34, 53-56 – We read 30-44 this past Sunday which was about the feed of 5,000. The skipped portion is the feeding (35-44) and Jesus walking on water (45-52). We will pick up the walking on water story and his healing in Gennesaret by reading:
Mark 6:45-56 – This story happens during the night following the feeding of the 5000 and is also told in Matthew 14 and John 6. Several interesting observations about this passage. 1. Jesus sends the disciples and then goes off to pray. Do we take time at the end of a busy and hectic day to pray? 2. The disciples struggle against an adverse wind, not a storm. Do we confuse the two, making storms out of adverse winds? 3. Jesus intends to walk past the disciples who shout out in fear of some ghost. Do we fear Jesus more then follow him? 4. Jesus speaks calming words, gets into the boat, and the winds cease. Again, like in Mark 4:35-41, the disciples now have to row to shore instead of using the winds. 5. Finally, in the healing scene, the sick and injured are laid in the marketplaces where they reach out to touch the fringe of Jesus’ cloak for healing. Do we sometimes fail to do our part to receive the healing of Jesus?
Have a great week reading the Word of God.