Pentecost +6 - Year B
David became greater and greater, for the Lord, God of hosts, was with him. Contrast that with the gospel lesson that Jesus became lesser and lesser. It was the disciples that were growing greater.
Difference? Jesus was in his hometown; David was at Hebron and went to make Jerusalem “his” city.
Being of the same blood and bone and flesh can cut two ways: to lift you up or bring you down. The context of response by the community makes all the difference. This is an opportunity to evaluate the tone of your various communities and to decide where you want to put your time and energy. Where do you need to hold hope in the midst of a discouraging word? Where do you need to move on or you will get caught in privilege and prestige issues?
In either case, you might be intrigued enough about building from the outside in, as David is reported to have done. As Walter Brueggemann comments, “An effective government, then as now, maintains a working social order, protects people from external threats, keeps the economy functioning and makes the trains run on time.” What are the social order issues that protect it? Healthcare for all can be understood as one of the bulwarks - if the general welfare is not in place all the common defense you can generate will not be sufficient to keep you from crumbling inside.
Note the order Brueggemann uses - working social order —> protection from external threats —> functioning economy —> efficiency. If you try to do these in reverse order there will be problem after problem. Now look at the preamble to the US Constitution and think about what a strict constructionist might set as their order: We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, —> establish justice, —> insure domestic tranquility, —> provide for the common defense, —> promote the general welfare, —> and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. How do you compare and contrast these and what is a key work for you to engage?