Lectionary Preview study materials: Last Sunday after Pentecost (21 November)
(Study on 16 November)
2 Samuel 23:1-7
Psalm 132:1-13 (14-19)
Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
Track 1 and 2
Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
2 Samuel 23:1-7
These are the last words of David:
The oracle of David, son of Jesse,
the oracle of the man whom God exalted,
the anointed of the God of Jacob,
the favorite of the Strong One of Israel:
The spirit of the Lord speaks through me,
his word is upon my tongue.
The God of Israel has spoken,
the Rock of Israel has said to me:
One who rules over people justly,
ruling in the fear of God,
is like the light of morning,
like the sun rising on a cloudless morning,
gleaming from the rain on the grassy land.
Is not my house like this with God?
For he has made with me an everlasting covenant,
ordered in all things and secure.
Will he not cause to prosper
all my help and my desire?
But the godless are all like thorns that are thrown away;
for they cannot be picked up with the hand;
to touch them one uses an iron bar
or the shaft of a spear.
And they are entirely consumed in fire on the spot.
Psalm 132:1-13 (14-19)
1 Lord, remember David, *
and all the hardships he endured;
2 How he swore an oath to the Lord *
and vowed a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
3 “I will not come under the roof of my house,” *
nor climb up into my bed;
4 I will not allow my eyes to sleep, *
nor let my eyelids slumber;
5 Until I find a place for the Lord, *
a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
6 “The ark! We heard it was in Ephratah; *
we found it in the fields of Jearim.
7 Let us go to God’s dwelling place; *
let us fall upon our knees before his footstool.”
8 Arise, O Lord, into your resting-place, *
you and the ark of your strength.
9 Let your priests be clothed with righteousness; *
let your faithful people sing with joy.
10 For your servant David’s sake, *
do not turn away the face of your Anointed.
11 The Lord has sworn an oath to David; *
in truth, he will not break it:
12 “A son, the fruit of your body *
will I set upon your throne.
13 If your children keep my covenant
and my testimonies that I shall teach them, *
their children will sit upon your throne for evermore.”
14 [For the Lord has chosen Zion; *
he has desired her for his habitation:
15 “This shall be my resting-place for ever; *
here will I dwell, for I delight in her.
16 I will surely bless her provisions, *
and satisfy her poor with bread.
17 I will clothe her priests with salvation, *
and her faithful people will rejoice and sing.
18 There will I make the horn of David flourish; *
I have prepared a lamp for my Anointed.
19 As for his enemies, I will clothe them with shame; *
but as for him, his crown will shine.”]
Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
As I watched,
thrones were set in place,
and an Ancient One took his throne,
his clothing was white as snow,
and the hair of his head like pure wool;
his throne was fiery flames,
and its wheels were burning fire.
A stream of fire issued
and flowed out from his presence.
A thousand thousands served him,
and ten thousand times ten thousand stood attending him.
The court sat in judgment,
and the books were opened.
As I watched in the night visions,
I saw one like a human being
coming with the clouds of heaven.
And he came to the Ancient One
and was presented before him.
To him was given dominion
and glory and kingship,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that shall not pass away,
and his kingship is one
that shall never be destroyed.
1 The Lord is King;
he has put on splendid apparel; *
the Lord has put on his apparel
and girded himself with strength.
2 He has made the whole world so sure *
that it cannot be moved;
3 Ever since the world began, your throne has been established; *
you are from everlasting.
4 The waters have lifted up, O Lord,
the waters have lifted up their voice; *
the waters have lifted up their pounding waves.
5 Mightier than the sound of many waters,
mightier than the breakers of the sea, *
mightier is the Lord who dwells on high.
6 Your testimonies are very sure, *
and holiness adorns your house, O Lord,
for ever and for evermore.
Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Look! He is coming with the clouds;
every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him;
and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail.
So it is to be. Amen.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”
ECUSA Christ the King Sunday November 21, 2021 Joshua Woods, 2018
RCL: 2 Samuel 23:1-7; Psalm 132:1-13 (14-19); Revelation 1:4b-8; John 18:33-37
King David—perhaps the greatest King of Israel—in his final words, did not take credit for himself, but instead declared that it was God who had anointed and exalted him to his place of leadership. David credited God not only for his rise to power, but also for his ability to rule the people justly. David proclaimed, “One who rules over people justly, ruling in the fear of God, is like the light of morning, like the sun rising on a cloudless morning, gleaming from the rain on the grassy land.” Godly leadership was not simply the right thing to do for King David, but it was a thing of great beauty. David understood that to use our positions of authority and influence for good and just purposes is to make our houses, our tiny kingdoms, like the Kingdom of God.
- In what positions of authority do you serve where you could invite the Kingdom of God to be made present?
- What is something small you could do today to make your house more like the Kingdom of God?
Psalm 132:1-13 (14-19)
The Psalmist reminds us, the readers, of King David’s commitment to building a temple, a dwelling place for God. This commitment was not simply a line item which could sit on the back burner, nor was it a campaign promise that would stir the hearts of the people to support him, even if it were never fully realized. Instead, King David made the creation of a place for God to dwell a priority in both his life and leadership. David vowed, “I will not come under the roof of my house, nor climb up into my bed; I will not allow my eyes to sleep, nor let my eyelids slumber; Until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.” This prioritization and relentless pursuit of creating a space for God in the midst of the people of Israel became the desire of David’s heart. Imagine how we might harness our own authority to serve others if our desire were to ensure that God lived within our midst.
- Where have you created space for God in your own life?
- Where else in your life could you prioritize creating a space for God to dwell?
The scene that is described for us here in the first chapter of Revelation is one of a king arriving and there being no mistake regarding who he is or why he has come. The author declares, “Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail.” In this foretelling of Christ’s second coming, the Messiah is returning to the earth in an unmistakable fashion, befitting a king. This is most unlike his first inbreaking, when he arrived without the expected pomp and circumstance and instead came into the world as an infant, totally dependent upon those who would raise him up. This Jesus, he is the Messiah King, the “ruler of the kings of the earth,” who breaks into the world in surprising ways, not only to change the course of history, but also to invite the whole world to participate and become his Kingdom on earth.
- How did Jesus come into your life and in what way(s) did his arrival surprise you?
- In what practical ways can you live in the Kingdom of God in your everyday life?
When questioned by Pontius Pilate, Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world.” This statement would be more surprising if it were the first time we encountered Jesus describing the Kingdom of God, but the more we hear about God’s Kingdom, the more we understand that it is very much upside-down or in reverse in comparison to the world as we know it. While our world so often operates on systems of scarcity and determining value based on supply and demand, in God’s Kingdom, there is not only enough for everyone, but there is abundance. In God’s Kingdom, all have enough and no one wants for anything. It is in this Kingdom that we can be loosed from the bondage of impulse and endless desire and finally be free to find eternal contentment in the One who had freed us. This is the good news that Christ our King came into the world to proclaim, and all who belong to the truth will listen to his voice.
- In what ways do you imagine that the Kingdom of God is different from the world today?
- In what small ways could we act to change our daily lives to allow the Kingdom of God to break in?
This Bible study, written by Joshua Woods, originally ran for Christ the King Sunday in 2018