Sometimes when the lectionary skips a few verses, they hold arcane detail unlikely to illuminate any but the most dedicated archaeologists of the Bible. Other times, they reveal uncomfortable information that would interfere with the simple, smooth story that we prefer to tell. In this week’s passage from Second Samuel...
Gracious God, fear of you is only the beginning of wisdom; perfect love dissolves fear. Help me to shed the falsehoods that fear tells me. Show me how to bare my soul to you, trusting your affection. 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, worshiping God with reckless abandon. The author of Psalm 24 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, God holds an eternal perspective and has sealed us with the Holy Spirit. Mark tells 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. In what ways do you honor the Creator in the ways you care for God’s creation?
Read Ephesians 1:3-14. Where have you stumbled on your faith journey and found God ready and willing to help?
Read Mark 6:14-29. When have you experienced a guilty conscience? Did you resolve the issue that was causing the feeling?
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