Friday, December 19, 2008
2 Samuel 6:12-19
The ark of God enters Jerusalem
It was told King David, "The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God." So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing; and when those who bore the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. David danced before the Lord with all his might; David was girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.
As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal daughter of Saul looked out of the window, and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.
They brought in the ark of the Lord, and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and offerings of well-being before the Lord. When David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the offerings of well-being, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts, and distributed food among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, to each a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people went back to their homes.
Comments: I am surprised at these readings during the third week of Advent. I am not sure that these are part of the Daily Office for the ELCA, but they seem strange for this time of year. However there is an abiding understanding in Christianity that Jesus is the Ark of the New Covenant—that Christ is the embodiment of the law and that there was no need for the ancient Ark of the Covenant any longer.
I believe many of those who followed the Way of Jesus were those who longed for the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel, the restoration of the Temple in Jerusalem and the return of the Messiah. It would be a time like the Davidic reign—the greatest Israel had ever seen.
Those who subscribe to a kind of Christianity or Judaism that are trying to restore the ancient kingdom of Israel in order for the Messiah to return fail to understand that Christ’s coming is a spiritual one, not a political one. It was misunderstood in Jesus’ day, and it led to the crucifixion. It is misunderstood today when we see such political wrangling going on in the Middle East.