Today's Lectionary Text
2 Samuel 7:1-7, 11-14a
Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you.”
But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”
Wendell’s coming for a stay and that means putting the 8,000 Legos where he cannot get to them, or putting up the baby gates at both entrances to the music/Lego room. Owen, Wendell’s 7-year-old cousin, opts for sorting and putting the Legos into the appropriate storage drawers. Owen and his dad love to build together with Legos. They create complicated buildings, machinery and creatures. It’s awesome!
We in the church are quite fond of buildings, too. I find peace by sitting in the solitude of a beautiful sanctuary. Breathing in the air in an empty Sunday school classroom brings me near to God. The building is really significant. Sometimes it becomes so important that the church even argues within itself over building issues.
In 2 Samuel 7, David and Nathan discuss building a temple. David believes this is a logical and necessary next step to showing his adoration of God. However, God suggests this is not David’s task to do. Rather, one of David’s offspring will take care of it. God affirms though that God continues to build through David, as God creates a line of descendants through the King. It is the people that will be the building blocks. It is the relationship from one generation to the next that is central. In addition, relationship with God, through David, is what matters.
Today we are privileged to be part of that line, to be ones who continue in relationship with God through David, because we are in relationship with Jesus, David’s descendent. This relationship does not allow us bragging rights about being part of God’s chosen. Instead, it offers chances to demonstrate to the world who God is and to what it is that God calls God’s followers. It pushes us outside and away from any physical building to help create a better world, one closer to being the kingdom of God.
Exhibiting compassion, seeking justice, and demonstrating mercy emerge as the markers of the way we need to exist in the world. All we individually need to do is figure out the acts of mercy and deeds of compassion we can perform. Could I visit a neighbor who is unable to get out? What kind of clothing is needed at a nearby clothing ministry? Should I volunteer for the food pantry or the community dining room? Would a well-worded and written letter to the editor about a current issue facing my community be appropriate? Choose one of these, or some other option that better fits your skills and gifts.
Above all, relate to each other and to the world by stacking each little brick of compassion and of caring together in ways that will help to create a world that comes closer and closer to resembling the kin-dom of God.
-Rev. Dianne Tombaugh
Retired Diaconal Minister
Prayer for Reflection
God of compassion, justice, and caring, speak to us today and set us to using nearby bricks to build your kin-dom all around us. Amen.
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