Lectionary Moment: Proper 7, June 24, 2012

SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 2012 | AFTER PENTECOST
PROPER 7
YEAR B

Hebrew Scripture 1 Samuel 17:32–49 (1a, 4–11, 19–23)
Psalm Psalm 9:9–20 (UMH 744)
Christian Scripture 2 Corinthians 6:1–13
Gospel Mark 4:35–41

Hebrew Scripture: 1 Samuel 17:32–49 (1a, 4–11, 19–23)

The story of David and Goliath
I never noticed how violent David's shepherding days were!
Saul is essentially giving David false armor.
"Am I a dog that you come to me with sticks?"
"The Lord does not save by sword and spear."

David response is concerning the man who defies the armies of the living God. While we don't have armies (nor do we want them) for God any more, what do we do in the face of principles that are against our faith? How do we confront evil, immorality, ethics violations, or just plain mean-ness? David responds using his gifts and talents, what he is comfortable with, not taking on the armor of being something he is not. He is authentically himself.

Do you or the people you know use their gifts and passions? Are they authentically themselves?

Psalm 9:9–20 (UMH 744)

18 For the needy shall not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor perish forever.
20 Put them in fear, O LORD; let the nations know that they are only human.

Christian Scripture 2 Corinthians 6:1–13

Paul comes to the Corinthians by surviving so much. He gives frank speech, opens his heart and bares all. He then begs them to open their hearts also.

This is one side of a difficult conversation between Paul and the Corinthians. Imagine what the Corinthians are thinking! What do you think is going on inside their head? This is a movement through conflict. How does your community move from conflict to communion?

Gospel Mark 4:35–41

Jesus stills the stormy sea.
From the chaos of the mustard plant, we are going into the chaos of the stormy sea.
The Greek word for faith, πίστις, here can be referencing "faithful" in a Jewish context or "faith" in a Christian scripture context.1 What does it mean to not have faithfulness vs. not having faith? The translation, according to Swanson, is not clear. The Greek dictionary also lists trust as a possible definition. Is trust different from faith? Is it reasonable to expect people to be unafraid in a storm? I am suddenly thinking of the show, "Deadliest Catch." Those sailors know when to be fearful and in their fear, they prepare by putting on their life suits that will help them survive the frigid waters. Just in case. Is Jesus irritated because they were unfaithful? Or is it that they were placing a demand on his gifts? Maybe there is a clip from Deadliest Catch that captures this tense, scary type of moment!

Can we compare the bringing order out of chaos on the sea to the creation story?

The crossing begins in the early dusk, a liminal time—a time between. This is a typically dangerous time of possibility. Light and dark aren't separated. God started creating in the evening. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.2 Adam also sleeps in the creation story #2. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept.3 It was not likely a storm that was brewing and coming or they wouldn't have launched their boat. A sudden happening. Jesus actually sleeps through a storm that threatens the disciples so much that they say they are dying. From a sea captain:

"Forgive my bluntness, but it's only an idiot or an infant who could sleep at a time like that. I never could, I had responsibilities. In a storm, you just need everybody to do their job."4

Remember that many disciples are fishermen. Men of the sea. They know when a storm is bad. When the disciples say, "Don't you care that we are dying?" They are not being stupid or fearful. They are probably a little angry and showing that attitude of repressed anger and fear that people can get to.

Hmm.

Also, who else miraculously calmed the sea? Well, not quite in the same way, but Jonah did!

Note: Jesus does not call upon the power of God.

"Do we expect God to act in connection with Jesus in such a way that authoritative commands are given and that a new creation results?"5

 
1 Provoking the Gospel of Mark, Richard Swanson, page. 176.
2 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Ge 1:5). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
3 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Ge 2:21). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
4 Provoking the Gospel of Mark, Richard Swanson, page. 179.
5 The Good News According to Mark, Eduard Schweizer, page 110.

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