Welcome to the kingdom

28 June 2015
Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 8B (RCL)
2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27
Psalm 130
2 Corinthians 8:7-15
Mark 5:21-43

Most Sundays, I’m grateful for a lectionary – I don’t have to choose readings. Some Sundays, though, I find the choices maddening. Last week, we heard the story of David meeting Saul after slaying Goliath, and this Sunday, we leap over all the intervening story of the relationship between the two, the different styles of leadership, the whole story of David and Jonathan, and deal with the deaths of Saul and Jonathan. Lectionary whiplash. Also, we heard the story of Jesus crossing the Sea of Galilee in a storm and calming the storm. We leap over the story of the Garasene demoniac (whose name was Legion). We get the story of the crossing of the sea, but not the drowning of the oppressor’s army. The choices make it hard to tell a coherent story. Continue reading “Welcome to the kingdom”

A new conversation

7 June 2015
Second Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 5B (RCL)
1 Samuel 8:4-20; 11:14-15
Psalm 138
2 Corinthians 4:13 — 5:1
Mark 3:20-35

R. G. Collingwood has said that since the nineteenth century, the primary function of the nation has become the waging of war. One could argue that this has always been true. When the Israelites ask Samuel for a king, they are asking to be like other nations. Samuel warns them that the king will impose levies on them for the waging of war, among other things. After the long history of the judges, Israel wants a standing ability to defend itself, rather than relying on the periodic, charismatic nature of the judges. The desire to be “like other nations” is the desire to have our (ever-increasing) share of the pie. Continue reading “A new conversation”