Too often we read the Bible based on “pick and choose” principle. Some verses make us uncomfortable. Others – inspire because they help us to prove our point in arguing with our neighbors and friends, even our family members. Should I say especially with our family members? These verses are about what is God’s will and what is human will and how they collide. 2 Samuel implies that, as a result, David wants to stop resting and do something about that discrepancy. He wants to give God’s ark a permanent home that is a temple that matches God’s centrality in Israel’s life. The passage from Samuel begs the questions: Can God choose to be more fully present in some places than others? Is there a synergy between divine call and human response that makes certain times and places unique? It just doesn’t seem fair to David that while he lives in a palace, God’s ark lives in a tent.
Of course, David may also have a political motive. Just as he’d once tried to make God’s ark a unifying force in Israel, he apparently wants to give a temple a similar role. If, after all, David builds a temple in Jerusalem, everyone in Israel will have to come to “his” city to worship God. God’s covenant with Israel has been expanded to include all humanity. The law is no longer a dividing line, creating a chasm between the clean and unclean, but has been transformed to inspire and shape all humanity. Ephesians affirms that Christ is our peace, our unity, joining diverse and otherwise divided people into one community of love. There are no aliens anymore; all persons are encompassed by God’s covenant of grace.
What Should We Do? Leaders do not need answers. Leaders must have the right questions. The ethicist Margaret A. Farley challenges us to look for reforms that are needed today. She offers some questions to help.
Where is the apathy and what can awaken us?
Where are the old and the new springs of life and how shall they be released?
The secret to the Christian life is learning to hear His invitation and to respond without fear or hesitation. It is on our pilgrimage that we see the miracles unfold.
Father, give me a sensitive ear and a willing heart to participate in your works of grace. Amen.