On Sunday Next: 5 July - coming home

our stories on Sunday next: 2 Sam 5:1–5, 9–10 | Psalm 48 | 2 Cor 12:2–10 | Mark 6:1–13

pondering 2 Sam 5:1–5, 9–10

I read a bit before this, to remember the flow of David's story. He has lamented the death of Saul and his son Jonathan; Judah and Israel have been at war; here, Israel asks David to be their King, as he has been King in Judah for seven years. The divided kingdom is united. God is praised, God is understood to be the reason for David's greatness as King.

I wonder about the places in our world today that are at war. I wonder about divided realms. I wonder about the courage and humility it takes to approach the King of your opposition and seek reconciliation, because, after all, we are one.

While earlier in the story, David's feelings of generosity and respect towards his opponents, rage at injustice, sorrow at Saul and Jonathan's deaths, are shown to the audience, he is quite passive here. I wonder what that says about a King, actually, his role as servant of the people, the Kingship as a function greater than the person fulfilling the role?

a haiku, reflecting on the story from Mark 6:1–13

a prophet's homecoming 

withering welcome
family ties matted, fraying
disturbing the dust

As I sat with this week's Gospel story, and the Psalm, I also thought of this poem about homecoming and place, which I wrote in the early months after my arrival in Scotland: an unravelling.

a prayer of confession or intercession, with responses

after 2 Cor 12:2–10 

in life we experience weakness in many ways: weakness, insult, hardship, persecution, calamity. We suffer for ourselves, and in the suffering of our neighbours.

Where we see powerlessness, injury, deprivation, oppression, disaster,
in our homes,
on our streets,
through newspaper, TV and computer screen,

we might respond with fear, but
you show us a Way of Love 

When we hear frailty, abuse, distress, mistreatment, indignity,
in our homes,
on our streets,
through newspaper, TV and computer screen,

we might respond with fear, but
you remind us of a story of Love 

If we speak imperfectly, to slight, afflict or torment, or in woe,
in our homes,
on our streets,
at newspaper, TV and computer screen,

we might be speaking our fear, but
you reassure us of your healing Love. 

The thorns in our sides,
our frailty and fallibility,
remind us of our dependence on you, Holy One.

Creator of Life,
Wisdom of Love,
Spirit of Hope,
we need you:
empower our living, our loving, our hope. Amen. 

On Sunday Next (c) Sarah Agnew. 
Reflections on lectionary texts with permission for use in worship settings. 
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Glenys said…
Thank you Sarah. I am preparing for worship next Sunday so this is helpful.

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