This psalm speaks to us of the importance of making a place for God. It quotes King David saying that he will not go to his own house, will not get into his bed, and will not sleep until he finds a place for God to dwell.
God needs space. If we don’t make space for God, other things will crowd in. That’s true in my life and yours. And it’s true in our world. We have a choice. We can work to carve out space for the will and way of God, that way of love, justice, and reconciliation, or we can watch the world fill with fear, frustration, despair, and distrust.
On the evening before Thanksgiving, the sanctuary of our church fills with Jews and Buddhists, Muslims and Methodists, Presbyterians and Pentecostals, all trying to make a place for God. One of the songs we sing is an “Alleluia” we borrowed from the synagogue that shares our sanctuary. We sing it in church all the time, and I finally confessed to the rabbi that we’d stolen his song, “Hallelu.” He said, “That’s okay. We stole it from a Pakistani Muslim group. It’s really called ‘Allah-hu’ (‘God Is’).” Tonight we’ll gather again in that sacred place, that place for God, and God’s peoples will pray together, laugh together, listen to one another’s sacred texts, and imagine a world of faith, love, and respect.
One year the congregations gathered for a meal together. We tried hard to balance things. We had fifty Jews, fifty Muslims, fifty Methodists. We wanted each table to have a mix to facilitate discussion. So, in the beginning, people were calling out, “We need another Jew! We need another Muslim!” The rabbi got up and said, “This is how Paradise will be; not ‘Stay away, you’re different; but come here, we need you.’” Amen.
God, help us create a place for you in our lives. Amen.
Second Samuel records the final words of David. David takes comfort in the covenant that God has made with his family, which must be continued by kings who will honor God and rule justly. The psalmist sings of this same covenant with David’s family and the same necessity to follow God’s decrees in order to rule well. Revelation opens with a vision of Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant, the King to rule over all kings for all time. Many expected Jesus to set up a political kingdom. Yet in John, Jesus tells Pilate that his kingdom is not an earthly one. This week let us thank God that the kingdom is based not on the exercise of power but on Jesus’ example of serving others.
• Read 2 Samuel 23:1-7. Upon your deathbed, what would you like your last words to be?
• Read Psalm 132. What is your vision of Paradise? Who will be seated around your table?
• Read Revelation 1:4b-8. How do you bear faithful witness to “the Alpha and the Omega”?
• Read John 18:33-37. To whom do you pledge allegiance? To whom do you give lip service?
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