A Reading from the Second Book of Samuel (23:1-7)
Now 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.
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.”
A Reading from the Book of Revelation (1:4b-8)
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.
The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to John (18:33-37)
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.”
by the Rev. Margaret Sammons
St. Mark’s is pleased and privileged to have the Rev. Margaret Sammons delivery today’s sermon.