Today’s reading celebrates God as the King of glory and reminds us of a crucial element of practicing faith—ritual helps us reconnect with God. Psalm 24 may have been used in the ceremonial entrance of God’s ark described in our reading from Second Samuel earlier this week. Today’s verses help us imagine and experience what a ritual of bringing the ark into Jerusalem or a ritual reenacting that event by bringing the ark into the Temple may have looked like.
Both this passage and the ceremony it illuminates center the “King of glory” present on the ark, God’s earthly seat. It celebrates the Lord’s strength and might. When we find ourselves in situations greater than we can handle on our own, we know God’s capabilities outstrip our own. Recognizing God’s ability to help us implies God’s availability to us. God who is mighty stands with us through the thick and thin of life.
The scripture encourages us to ask, “Who is the King of glory?” when we find ourselves needing to recenter God in our lives. These verses remind us that mentally recalling God’s power and presence often is not enough; rituals help us reexperience God and renew our faith. The ritual this passage reveals carries God’s earthly seat back into the physical center of life and worship in Jerusalem. Even the gates lift their heads to recognize God’s strength and welcome God’s presence. When our past stifles our relationship with God or we allow the ardor of that relationship to wane, rituals help us reconnect with God’s glory and constant presence.
Dear God, Lord of hosts, help us experience your presence with us anew. 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?
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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