Lessons for Proper 8, July 1, 2018

2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27

In the extended story of David, the narrator gives us some understanding of the spiritual character of this giant of the development of the tribes of Israel, characteristics of humility, sacrifice, courage and obedience.  The ongoing war with the Philistines now reverses the fortunes of Saul –  he dies along with his sons and his army is routed.  David is now for the first time the king, but rather than rejoice over Saul’s death, he intones a lament over Saul; God’s anointed, the king of the nation, has been killed and real passion and sorrow must be expressed; and thus, the lament of today’s reading.

2 Corinthians 8: 7-15

Poor Christians in Jerusalem are now Paul’s concern; he has previously charged the church in Corinth with responsible giving and now delivers his balanced request for money as a part of their stewardship of Christian life.  Giving of one’s means in response to what one has received is a clear part of the faith; the time has come for examining one’s life and possessions and contributing in proportion.

Mark    5: 21-43

Jesus and his disciples have crossed Galilee in the fishing boat and have reached the far shore, probably Capernaum.  And again, a crowd, being intensely curious of this itinerant preacher, has gathered to listen to what he has to say.  Mark then relates the circumstances of two new miracles, one of a hemorrhaging woman and the other of a 12-year-old girl, thought to have died.  In addition to her physical debilitation the woman clearly violated Levitical laws and could not be accepted at Temple or wordship; she was basically an outcast.  But Jesus quickly dispenses with the rules and cures her on the spot.  The synagogue’s leader’s daughter is raised from perhaps a deep sleep, but word in the crowd was that she was raised from the dead.  Mark’s stories here are all about females, most unusual in that society.