Tuesday: "It Ain't Necessarily So!"
2009-06-29 by Safiyah Fosua

When I work on a sermon, I often spend time looking at the text on the printed page waiting for oddities, seeming inconsistencies or repetitions to jump off the page at me. I am still pausing with the first five verses of 2 Samuel 5. Today, I am struggling with the notion that to some people it may have looked like David started his rule as an oddball, an outcast, or even a pretender to the throne.

It was improbable that the nation of Israel, in its dulled spiritual state, would intuit or discern that God was calling them to make a break in the normal ways that kings were succeeded. It would have been natural to think that the monarchy would continue with Saul's surviving heir. Plus, how many people had heard of the secret anointing of Jesse’s youngest boy? It took seven, long, bloody years for the leadership of Israel to concede that having the son of Saul lead them was not working. It took seven years for the elders of Israel to reach consensus over David’s leadership.

In 2 Samuel 5, we are reminded that most of the time, most of us are often not aware of what God is doing in our own lives and certainly not in someone else’s life.

This passage is an invitation to feel the pain of the unsung. Even when we are certain that we have heard from God, there is no guarantee that other people of faith will get the memo. Think of trembling young ministers struggling to have recalcitrant boards of ministry acknowledge that they indeed heard a call to ministry. Or the overly optimistic newly ordained who become crestfallen when they realize that they will not be taken seriously at their first ministry assignment. I see both idealists and reluctant prophets weary from swimming against the tide. Just what needs to happen before we are finally positioned to do what we are called to do for God?

Blessings,

Safiyah Fosua





2 Samuel 5:1-5
2009-06-28 by Safiyah Fosua

Dear Bloggers,

I am Safiyah Fosua and I presently serve as the Director of Preaching Ministries for the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Discipleship.  Each week, I prepare resources to help our online readers prepare their sermons at www.gbod.org\worship. I appreciate this invitation to be in the homiletical hot tub this week and to delve more in-depth into the texts for Sunday, July 5, 2009.

 

The first text that catches my attention is 2 Samuel 5:1-5.  

Then all the tribes of Israel came to David…

What was going on before this reading?  A clue is found in verses 4 & 5. David reigned for a total of 40 years but the first 7 ½ were spent at Hebron reigning only over the tribe of Judah.

 

I am initially drawn to the emotions and turmoil of those seven years in Hebron.  It did not matter that David had been selected by God and anointed by Samuel to be the next king of Israel.  For the first seven and one half years of David’s rule, David only reigned over Judah while the rest of Israel suffered under the poor leadership of one pretender to the throne after another.  The story that precedes this is riddled with intrigue and missteps and betrayals.  It took a while for the leaders of Israel to acknowledge that David was called by God to be king over all the tribes of Israel and to take appropriate actions to give him the necessary authority to rule them.

 

It appears from this initial examination of the text that the efficacy of the call of God may be dependent upon both the willingness of the person being called and appropriate response from the community of the faithful.  How is the activity of God in our world thwarted by our foot-dragging?





Teen Preacher
2009-06-27 by David von Schlichten

Please go to "Share It" and then to the "Sermon Feedback Cafe" to read a sermon by fifteen year-old Alexandria "Nuggy" Brant, a member of my congregation who is preaching for her first time on June 28. She'd love for you to share your expertise with her.

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





Laurie Clark and Alex
2009-06-25 by David von Schlichten

Thank you to Laurie Clark, our guest blogger. She has provided exceptionally rich postings. Please scroll down to taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

If I were going to preach this Sunday, I might follow Laurie's lead and invite hearers to put themselves in the sandals of different figures in the story while also stressing to hearers the sometimes theo-peutic power of touch.

However, I will not be preaching this weekend. A fifteen year-old parishioner, Alexandria, who is extraordinary in many ways, will be preaching her first sermon, which we have been working on together over the past couple of weeks. She will focus on the second lesson, 2 Corinthians 8, and the call to give of ourselves to those in need. I cannot wait to hear her!

Turning 40 on the 27th, I am

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator 





Lectio Devina
2009-06-23 by Laurie Clark

Sometimes when I’m trying to hear a sermon, I practice lectio devina. Usually this is on Tues or Wed, when I’ve read the text, read about the text, scribbled a few ideas or a rough outline and I find myself asking, “What is it, God, that you are saying to St. Luke’s in this time and in this place?” And the prayer takes me, sometimes, back into the scripture and I watch to see where our congregation is.

 

Are we Jarius, a leader, but willing to risk on behalf of a child (or someone) we love? Are we willing to reach out, even if our friends might not understand or tell us, “Don’t go talk with that Jesus person.” What will our congregations risk, to be made whole? To be healed? What will we, as preachers, risk to speak the truth we feels God gives us?

 

Are we the bleeding woman, outcast, spent, without a name? Where do we get the strength to try again to be healed?

 

Are we the crowd, pressing in on Jesus, possibly keeping others from touching him, or possibly reaching for him ourselves?

 

Are we the crowd, wondering why some are healed and others are not? Or are we the one person who is beginning to understand – this healing is about more than a couple of people made well. This is about the kingdom of God, here, in our midst.

 

Are we the little girl, so sick, and then fine, up and walking around, getting something to eat?

 

Are we the mourners whose tears turn to laughter? Are we the church that gathers, too late, for the child has already died? Do we dismiss Jesus as just another wacky guy who can’t possibly wake up a dead child? Are we overcome in amazement, still able to believe again in the power and presence of God?

 

Where are we, where is our congregation in this scripture?

 

And what is it that God is calling us to proclaim to a world so in need of healing, wholeness, and salvation? Is there a balm to make the wounded whole?

  



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