Lessons for Proper 11, July 22,2018

2 Samuel 7: 1-14a

King David has now reached the pinnacle of leadership in Zion; there is quiet in the land and he looks for the next major action in Israel’s life. He lives in a fine house, but the Ark of God resides in a tent; that’s not right, he thinks. So he announces a temple for God, gets the OK from his pastor, Nathan. But God says no, no building for me and the permit is withdrawn. David’s idea of a house for God will only divert attention and purpose to David and not to God. In David’s lifetime there will be no new mansion for God and thus the prophet, Nathan, like prophets to come, will steer Israel on the proper course

 

Ephesians 2; 11-22

Moving from the cosmic level of discourse to the basic citizenship claim, in this passage the author, following Paul’s fully developed position, explains the acceptance of Gentiles, that is non-Jews, into the faith of the Jewish messiah. The blessings that come through Christ are the blessings that were promised to Israel. Citizenship for Gentiles is not that of Israel, but of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

 

Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

Mark describes a Jesus who is constantly swallowed up by crowds of people, many of them sick and in need of care. Wherever he goes, he is surrounded; even using a boat to cross the sea of Galilee does not discourage them; crowds follow him. Mark’s message, perhaps, is to show the great needs of people in that occupied extension of Rome for hope and peace in a land where little is available.