LectioCastJune 14: Third Sunday After Pentecost

Texts this week include: 1 Samuel 15:34-16:13, Psalm 20, 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 (11-13) 14-17 & Mark 4:26-34

This is another bunch of texts that’s hard to hold together.

1 Sam is about David’s anointing. Note the place of God in the first paragraphs: sorry God made Saul king, God provides for God’s self an alternative king who will be anointed for God. Contrast the process through which Saul was chosen.

1 Sam also has its own “inward” v “outward” contrast (cf. 2 Cor from last week). God looking at heart. This helps underscore contrast with Saul the tall. Other contrasts with Saul are important: David is taken from tending sheep (shepherding imagery, cf. Moses, etc.) whereas Saul was chasing down lost donkeys. David receives Spirit when he’s anointed, and in the next verse after this passage ends we hear that God’s Spirit departed from Saul.

Psalm 20 is directed toward the king, it seems. Maybe ask the question, Who is the “you” that the psalm addresses? I note also the conjunction of themes of God as warrior and the ability to answer the king’s prayer requests. Interestingly, it’s a psalm for victory in battle, but fighting differently than the nations. Maybe we do a Christologcial riff here on how Jesus brings the Kingdom?

2 Cor 5: there’s that scary line about being judged by our deeds–a sort of eschatological rendition of what we saw in the Psalm: what we do determines who God treats us. On the famous part of the passage, focus on how the whole salvation imagery is cosmic and corporate: new creation, not just new creatures.

Mark 4: surprise of the Kingdom. Maybe this is like the OT passages: it’s not what we can see standing in power and glory, but KoG is hidden in weak and small things. In the mustard seed parable there might be an allusion to Dan 4:12, an image of the reign extending over the whole earth.