Lectionary Preview study materials: Pentecost 10 (1 august)
(study on 28 July)
2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a
Let your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend your Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without your help, protect and govern it always by your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a
When the wife of Uriah heard that her husband was dead, she made lamentation for him. When the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son.
But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord, and the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him, and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds; but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. He brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children; it used to eat of his meager fare, and drink from his cup, and lie in his bosom, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was loath to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb, and prepared that for the guest who had come to him.” Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man. He said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die; he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”
Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I anointed you king over Israel, and I rescued you from the hand of Saul; I gave you your master’s house, and your master’s wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added as much more. Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, for you have despised me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. Thus says the Lord: I will raise up trouble against you from within your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this very sun. For you did it secretly; but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.” David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
Miserere mei, Deus
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving-kindness; *
in your great compassion blot out my offenses.
2 Wash me through and through from my wickedness *
and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions, *
and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you only have I sinned *
and done what is evil in your sight.
5 And so you are justified when you speak *
and upright in your judgment.
6 Indeed, I have been wicked from my birth, *
a sinner from my mother’s womb.
7 For behold, you look for truth deep within me, *
and will make me understand wisdom secretly.
8 Purge me from my sin, and I shall be pure; *
wash me, and I shall be clean indeed.
9 Make me hear of joy and gladness, *
that the body you have broken may rejoice.
10 Hide your face from my sins *
and blot out all my iniquities.
11 Create in me a clean heart, O God, *
and renew a right spirit within me.
12 Cast me not away from your presence *
and take not your holy Spirit from me.
13 Give me the joy of your saving help again *
and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.
I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it is said,
“When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive;
he gave gifts to his people.”
(When it says, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.) The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.
The next day, when the people who remained after the feeding of the five thousand saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.” Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
ECUSA BIBLE STUDY MATERIALS
Pentecost 10 August 1, 2021 Daniela Lee
RCL: 2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a; Psalm 51:1-13; Ephesians 4:1-16; John 6:24-35
2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a
I have always wondered how it was that David justified to himself all the plotting he did to get Uriah killed because it was no small feat to get such an honorable and skilled warrior in trouble. But David did succeed, and perhaps part of him knew how wrong it was to seek his self-interest like that. Perhaps that is why he does not hesitate to say that the man in Nathan’s story should die. He has a strong visceral reaction and he also clearly recognizes right from wrong. He just didn’t allow himself to see it in himself, or maybe he thought he could get away with it.
There is that saying that we are our true selves when we think no one is watching. Beyond the reality that God is our present witness and knows what we are doing, we are also watching, we are also witnesses to our own actions and behaviors. Perhaps we should think more about the impression we make on ourselves in our decision-making. In that intimate space between ourselves and God, we need to be fully honest.
- Have you ever seen behavior that was appalling in someone else, but failed to see it within yourself?
- How do you see the grace of God working in this story?
The theme for today seems to be the intimate space we share with God, within ourselves. The place where we open up and God can see us fully and be with us fully. Some achieve this through prayer, others through meditation, others through Lectio Divina. No matter the means, what is important is being there together with God, in that place where he creates the “clean heart” and renews the “right spirit”. The psalmist first asks God to be treated according to God’s loving-kindness, which is not the retributive justice system, but God’s justice system, where love can and will transform us in ways we cannot even imagine.
- Have you ever felt that closeness to God makes you intuitively understand God better?
- What are some ways in which you make time and space to “meet” with God?
This is difficult advice that Paul gives when he encourages the Ephesians to “[bear] with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” What does this mean in the world in which we live today, where conversations of race and equality are abounding? I am always afraid that the interpretation might give some power to those that marginalize and oppress, but a closer look at the text tells me that is not the case. If we do bear all people in love, if we treat all people as our beloved family members, perhaps we could more easily see where they are coming from and give them a lot more grace than we might a stranger. Perhaps the gift that the church needs right now is someone that will radically love all people, but especially those that have been historically kept away from our doors, who have not been part of our church unity, those in whose face we have shut the door in the past. The greatest gift that we can share with others is love.
- What does it mean to bear someone in love?
- Do you recognize your own gifts for the world and for the church?
Jesus sometimes seems to be mysterious on purpose. Of course, communication is always on two levels with him, a human level and an eternal level. He seems to answer the questions people ask him, but in a way that makes things so much more complicated. A thesis might be needed to unpack all of it! I find myself sometimes not understanding intellectually what Jesus says because I am not a scholar, but then I close my eyes and think about Jesus saying, “I am the bread of life.” In a mysterious way, that somehow makes sense. My heart, seeking Jesus and closeness to God, understands what the mind does not. In the intimate space between God and me, my intellectual shortcomings matter less, because I can understand what it means to be nourished and connected without having the words to explain it.
- What are some spiritual things that nourish and sustain you in your day-to-day life?
- What spiritual practices are the ones you feel bring you closest to God?
Daniela Lee is an Eastern European immigrant that has traveled from the Baptist world through the Lutheran world and ended up in The Episcopal Church. With her husband and two lovely kids, she likes to travel and stargaze. They currently live in Utah where they enjoy the two seasons, the dry air, and the beautiful landscape. Dani is passionate about evangelism and about how to live responsibly in the world