In chapter 5 we learn David has covenanted with all the tribes of Israel to be their king and has made Jerusalem the capital of Israel. David’s relationship with God sustains him and proves to be a critical asset at those pivotal moments in David’s life and the life of ancient Israel.
After defeating the Philistines, David reaches into Israel’s past to reconnect with God. David goes with thirty thousand Israelites to retrieve the ark from the house of Abinadab, where it has been residing. David resolves to take the ark of God to Jerusalem, a move that solidifies his political power with spiritual power. The ark of God symbolizes God’s constant presence. And so David and the entourage process with the ark to Jerusalem accompanied by music and dancing.
As human beings, we tend to keep moving forward without consulting God, giving little thought to how the past informs the present. We may not raise the question: “Where is God leading me?” In the midst of life’s busyness we may forget who has brought us this far along our way.
David’s behavior advocates a different posture toward God and our personal and collective history. We can ask ourselves questions David may have asked: What are the symbols of God’s presence in my life? What role does my past play in reconnecting me with God? How do I carry God and history with me as I move forward?

Lord God, help me remember that I did not get this far on my own. Use the symbols of your presence to remind me of our life together. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Mark 6:14-29

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Lectionary Week
July 9–15, 2018
Scripture Overview

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.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• 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?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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