Reflection-Kari Edge

Kari Edge
July 15, 2012

2 Samuel 6:1-5 and 12b-19

A wise preacher once told me, “if you want to have a successful sermon, you better start with a joke or a story.”  Well, this is NO sermon but I do have a joke:

The Earth without ART is just EH…

You may be wondering how this joke connects to the lesson of Samuel before us today, and I’m just hoping we’re not both still wondering that by the end of this reflection.

When I was asked if I would prepare a reflection for this Sunday, I accepted the opportunity like it was a duty…..a duty to read the scripture hoping I’d be struck with a moment of enlightenment worth sharing…

A duty similar to what I felt as a high school sophomore.  One Sunday evening, after our weekly family dinner, I was inspired by my Nana’s thorough study of the scriptures to read the Bible.  Not just one chapter or verse, but the whole thing-cover to cover.  The next morning before school I cracked open our family Bible with the goal of reading 2 chapters a day…preferably in the morning before school since it was always good to go to Jefferson with a little extra holy spirit in your tank…the next thing I knew someone was begetting someone who beget somebody else and this project was failing before it ever got off the ground.  I decided to start with the New Testament….the version I had was called “The Good News”….and just like most people, I decided you can’t have enough good news.  I’ll get back to that topic later…but for now…

A year and a half later of slowly tackling 2 chapters a day the “Good News” was over and I was starring Genesis in the face once again.  Well, to make a long story short, 3 years since that first day, I finished the last page of Malachi…the last page of the Old Testament.  I closed the Bible, having read it – Cover to cover.  I couldn’t really decide what I had taken from that experience…and maybe I’m only sharing that story because I was feeling unworthy to try and share anything about the scripture with you today that would be enlightening or new…

But I felt that same familiar relationship with the Old Testament when I was preparing for today.  I read 2 Samuel 6:1-5 and 12b – 19 and then I waited for the love slap of enlightenment from God…it wasn’t coming, and I decided I needed a little history lesson before I could truly grasp the message of this scripture…

So here is my Kari’s Quick Lesson:

David, the little shepherd boy who bravely killed the colossal Goliath and played his beautiful harp to tame the wild thoughts of King Saul had run away to escape being killed by the King who’s jealousy for David had grown out of control.  David, a natural born leader, gathered men for his armies, today’s lesson tells us, more than 30,000 men…and they engaged in warfare for many years.  Often times, with Goliath’s people, the Philistines, who had taken possession of the Ark of the Covenant.  David realized the importance of bringing the Ark back to the city of Israel…a final act to mark the city as the capitol of his kingdom and to honor the Lord.  By the time we reach the story in these verses, David and his 30,000 men have gained possession of the Ark and they are triumphantly bringing it to their city.  They, particularly David, danced with all their might, playing many instruments….that’s right…if you know me, you realize we’ve reached the verse that caught my attention in the first place:

“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.  Shocker I know, the music verse caught my attention…but the scripture goes on to say that Michal, the daughter of Saul, watched David’s dancing and despised him in her heart…

Suddenly a woman is mentioned…I have to go look her up!

Turns out, Michal was married to David in his innocent harp player days…everyone wants to marry a member of the band…and she helped him escape her jealous unstable father.  In David’s long absence, she married again, as was necessary for a woman of that time to survive.  When David returned and became King he forced her to leave her new husband and come to the palace to live as one of his many wives….excuse me for waving my feminist flag a bit, but I don’t think the personification of Michal as the despiser is quite fair, as I don’t know many men or women who wouldn’t watch their ex dancing down the street hoping just a little bit that they trip after their ex left them for many years and upon returning forced them to move back in along with sister wives.    

Finally, I return to my idea of the “Good News”.  I still believe, like I did years ago, that you just can’t get enough good news.  Here we see David and his people dancing with all their might and singing to celebrate the Lord.  Everyday we turn on the news or read articles on our ipads or witness the lambasting of fellow humans by their political opponents.  As our economy struggles and children talk to their parents through screens while their parents serve our country in distant lands, things can look pretty bleak.  Even in our churches on Sundays the dark cloud hovers over, but as David shows us it is OK to celebrate life’s successes in the name of the Lord.  It is OK to gather our voices and our instruments in songs of joy and praise.  The times of David were far from easy, a fact people may say about our times today, but if we don’t take time to dance with all our might and honor our successes through the Lord, we will have little to get us through the darkest times.   

I was never struck with that Eureka moment of enlightenment to share with you.  But if you leave here perhaps feeling a little more compassion for Michal or a little more like celebrating your life’s successes, than I have achieved a goal.  This reflection may be lacking a bit of a linear direction, but it is my reflection, as it came to me and thus, I share it with you!

And remember, the Earth without Art is just “Eh”…so find the music, the dancing, the art in your life and do it…do it with all your might!