David retrieves the ark from Obed-edom before recommencing the celebration. Elaborate celebrations accompany the journey to Jerusalem: David dances “with all his might” and dresses the part too. He engages fully in praising God. His linen ephod signals that the ark’s procession is not only a celebration but a ritual act, an act of worship. And as the ark enters Jerusalem, David ritualizes the event, offering sacrifice, blessing the people, and feeding them.
The entire city turns out for the celebration, but one lone person stands apart: Michal, Saul’s daughter and David’s wife. She herself serves as another piece of David’s consolidation of his kingdom—a wedding of convenience. That bit of information may justify our raised eyebrows at David’s religious fervor and cause us to doubt his motives.
Yet David’s celebration can teach us how to connect with God and one another. It may call us to assess our own religious fervor. When has our love of God resulted in actions of wild abandon? When has our zeal isolated others from worship?
David’s actions after arriving in Jerusalem show us that we can extend God’s blessing to others through word and compassionate action. How do we expand our thanksgiving for God’s presence to all?
After the blessing and food distribution, the people return to their homes. After we worship God and bless others with God’s blessing, we also return home—to the places where we live out our stories and our relationship with God.
Lord, teach me how to celebrate you, share your blessings with others, and carry my faith into my daily life. Amen.
Two readings this week focus on welcoming God’s presence. David does this by bringing the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem. As the ark arrives, David dances with all his might, worshiping God with reckless abandon. In Psalm 24, the author poetically calls a city to open its gates and welcome the great king. These passages invite us to consider how willingly we receive God into our lives. The reading from Ephesians speaks of God’s eternal plan. While circumstances may seem chaotic from our perspective, God holds an eternal perspective and has sealed us with the Holy Spirit. Mark tells us the sad story of the execution of John the Baptist, yet another example of a righteous person experiencing persecution.
• Read 2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19. How do you bless others in your daily life?
• Read Psalm 24. How do you evidence your willingness to be a steward of God’s creation?
• Read Ephesians 1:3-14. When have you experienced a “hiccup” on your journey and found God ready and willing to assist? How did that help come?
• Read Mark 6:14-29. When have you experienced a guilty conscience? What triggered it?
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