God at Work: God Unites

A postcard from the 6th Sunday after Pentecost 07/04/21

How do we tell our story?

The 6th Sunday after Pentecost fell on July 4th. As we celebrated the beginning of the “American Dream,” we heard the story of David becoming the king of all of Israel. [2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10] This moment is the pinnacle of David’s story. The boy shepherd is now the shepherd king. The telling of this moment of success is rather brief and lacks a lot of the drama and detail of the other aspects of the David saga. There is the drama of David’s rise, and yet to come is the drama of his fall. It is through the whole story (good and bad) that God is shown at work redeeming the world.

A lot of folks are fired up about how we talk about and teach our history. For some the 4th of July is a day of pride and for others a day of disappointment. Some point to the daring dreams of the founding fathers, while others point out how far from those dreams we were then and today.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached on a Sunday 4th of July: “And so it is marvelous and great that we do have a dream, that we have a nation with a dream; and to forever challenge us; to forever give us a sense of urgency; to forever stand in the midst of the “isness” of our terrible injustices; to remind us of the “oughtness” of our noble capacity for justice and love and brotherhood.”

As Christians, we are called to look for God at work in the whole story of our life together—in our daring dreams and our failures.

A sermon from St. Barnabas in Roanoke:

“All of David’s story has pointed us to God’s working in the world. On the one hand we see in this unification the success of David’s political dealings. But the real story is that the God that made the boy shepherd great, now makes him a shepherd king.”

Audio only available here

Coming next

Next week we begin an exploration of Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. What does it look like to live rooted in reconciliation with God and neighbor? How do we practice it in radical ways?

  • July 11 – Messiah, Heflin / “The Family” Eph. 1:3-14
  • July 18 – Off the road / “Aliens Brought Near” Eph. 2:11-22
  • July 25 – Off the road / “God’s Powerful Love” Eph. 3:14-21
  • August 1 – St. Barnabas, Roanoke / “Bound Together” Eph. 4:1-16
  • August 8 – Messiah, Heflin / “Making Peace” Eph. 4:25 – 5:2
  • August 15 – Messiah Heflin / “Overflow” Eph. 5:15-20

Published by akhudlow

I am a priest in the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Alabama. I am a church nerd, printmaker, storyteller, and blogger.

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