We trace the Storyour storyfrom its beginnings in the Hebrew scriptures, through its climax in the memories of the early church as reflected in the gospels, and then on to what sense the first Christians made of the connections between the two as reflected in St. Pauls letters.
At each step along the way, as inheritors of that Story, we participate today by reflecting on what it says to us corporately as that continuing community of faith, or as individual members of the continuing community. Scripture cannot fully be grasped either as a historical or literary enterprise. It speaks, as one scripture student said, "from faith to faith."
The Old Order Must Change
Psalm 48;2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10;2 Corinthians 12:2-10;Mark 6:1-13
Samuel and Mark are almost like contrapuntal music. We can only judge what is abnormal by having experienced the normal. David goes from glory to glory. "All the tribes of Israel" come to him, citing his great works and his evident acceptance by the Lord. The old order is rejected. David "became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him."
The psalm carries forward this triumphal note: "Thy right hand is filled with victory." The pilgrim is bidden, "Walk about Zion, go all around it. Count its towers, consider well its ramparts; go through its citadel that you may tell the next generation that this is God."
Whether the ruler is Saul or David or the president of the United States, the old order changes but remains distressingly the same.
Then great Davids greater Son strides into history. To read Mark 6:1-13 against 2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10, is to realize something new has entered history. Like David, he came of bone and flesh. "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary?" A later teller of the Story than Mark was to say, "He came unto his own, and his own received him not."