Two weeks ago, we encountered Melchizedek, a mysterious figure who appears out of nowhere in the book of Genesis, then disappears. The only other references in the Bible are one picked up in psalm 110, and a reference in Hebrews. While prayers, often content in the psalms connect to the historical books of the Old Testament, the Hebrew Scriptures. Other connections? Last week we had the story of Elijah resuscitating the only son of a widow, followed by a Gospel that very likely was significantly influenced by the story in the book of Kings. Individuals, or story lines, or places are the warp and weave that help make of very different writings, written and edited over centuries, into a coherent, unfolding story of salvation. What about our 1st reading this week, the account of David’s colossal fall from grace, that began with lust, led to adultery, and then even to murder? The superscript of psalm 51, the pre-eminent penitential psalm, is a great example of the weaving: “To the leader. A psalm of David, when the prophet Nathan came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba”. Some take homes for us: one sin often leads to another. We can discover a lot about human nature throughout the Bible, especially the psalms. Most important, the story in Samuel, and psalm 51 don’t just point to human sinfulness, they reveal God’s mercy and forgiving love!
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Sunday, June 12, 2016