Sunday, July 15, 2012: “Today’s Scripture Readings”


A Reading from the Second Book of Samuel (6:1-5, 12b-19)


David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. David and all the people with him set out and went from Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the Lord of hosts who is enthroned on the cherubim. They carried the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart with the ark of God; and Ahio went in front of the ark. David and all the house of Israel were dancing before the Lord with all their might, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. 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.


> David came up with the idea to conquer Jerusalem and meet the North and South half-way.

> He then looked for a common heritage to make the bonds stronger and came up with the Ark of the Covenant.

> This was a large chest built at Mount Sinai.

> In the middle was the mercy seat (God’s throne) and one cherub on each end.

> David’s wife was very upset with him for dancing and rejoicing.



Psalm 24


1  The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, *

     the world and all who dwell therein.

2  For it is he who founded it upon the seas *

    and made it firm upon the rivers of the deep.

3  “Who can ascend the hill of the Lord? *

     and who can stand in his holy place?”

4  “Those who have clean hands and a pure heart, *

     who have not pledged themselves to falsehood,

     nor sworn by what is a fraud.

5  They shall receive a blessing from the Lord *

     and a just reward from the God of their salvation.”

6  Such is the generation of those who seek him, *

     of those who seek your face, O God of Jacob.

7 Lift up your heads, O gates;

    lift them high, O everlasting doors; *

    and the King of glory shall come in.

8 “Who is this King of glory?” *

    “The Lord, strong and mighty,

    the Lord, mighty in battle.”

9  Lift up your heads, O gates;

    lift them high, O everlasting doors; *

    and the King of glory shall come in.

10  “Who is he, this King of glory?” *

     “The Lord of hosts,

     he is the King of glory.” 


> Celebration of God’s enthronement in Jerusalem.

> Who is worthy to ascend to the Temple Mount of God?

> Those who are righteous.



 A Reading from the  Letter of Paul to the Ephesians (1:3-14)


Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.


>  A letter from Paul to the Ephesians.

> Not actually from Paul and not actually to the Ephesians.

> Probably written by one of Paul’s followers.

> The Gentile will also be adopted by God as one of his children.

> The use of the baptismal chrism comes from these verses. 



The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ  according to Mark (6:14-29)


King Herod heard of Jesus and his disciples, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some were saying, “John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him.” But others said, “It is Elijah.” And others said, “It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” But when Herod heard of it, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.” For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her. For John had been telling Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”  And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.” And he solemnly swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.” She went out and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the baptizer.” Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her. Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb. 


> Jesus had previously sent out his disciples.

> He was preparing the way for his revelation in Caesarea-Phillipi,

> King Herod Agrippa was the ruler over Galilee at that time.

> Herod’s wife, Herodias, wants to kill John the Baptist because of his accusations against Herod for marrying his brother’s wife.

> John was beheaded and then the story about his life is told.

> Herod made a rash promise to Herodias.

> This grizzly story was a precursor to Jesus’ fate.

> Some of the other Christian churches that follow the Revised Common Lectionary do not use these verses.