Year B Pentecost 7 – 2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19; Psalm 24; Ephesians 1:3-14; Mark 6:14-29
The Ark of the Covenant was an instrument of blessing. The power of the instrument, however, was the Covenant, not the Ark. The Old Testament Law provided instruction and guidance that promoted blessing. The Ark which housed the original autographs was a symbol of the relationship with God. That relationship was sealed by a covenant and attached with it, blessing.
The earth is the Lord’s, not humanity’s. It belongs to the Creator, not to the creatures. It is God’s property, not Nature’s. Too often raw elements or human crafting of those elements are elevated as divine. We are a part of Creation, not its Master. Does your organisation promote sustainability of resources? The care-taker attitude becomes a tool for blessing. The rebellious ownership attitude pretends god-like responsibility. It becomes an instrument of cursing.
The Old Testament’s Temple and the New Testament’s Church perform the same function of being sources of blessings. The Ephesian Church learned that Christ is the source of blessing today. That source is a person, not a product of the earth. Blessing is discovered in relationship, not in religion. In Christ there is inheritance, purpose and hope.
John the Baptist’s beheading is a vivid contrast between religion and relationship. Herod built a temple as a source of blessing but operated a Court as an instrument of cruelty. He built an Ark thinking it would be the source of blessing while neglecting the Covenant it represented.
Is your family an instrument of blessing like the Temple and Church? Or is it an instrument of cursing like Herod’s court?