NEWS BULLETIN: JERUSALEM NEW CAPITAL OF UNITED TRIBES OF ISRAEL.
If you tend to look askance at worship “innovations” such as liturgical dance, today’s description of King David entering Jerusalem won’t please you. David, girded only with a skimpy linen ephod, danced before the Lord with all his might!
David is bringing the Ark of the Covenant to its new resting-place in his new capital city of Jerusalem, and he knew how to make a satisfying ceremony of it. He wanted his kingship, and the new capital, to bind the 12 Israelite tribes into one nation…much as George Washington wanted Washington D.C. to become a unifying center for the American colonies.
In today’s Eucharistic liturgies, we echo David’s parade in our vested processions into the church. When we gather for the liturgy, we are entering a holy place set apart – a kind of “new Jerusalem,” where we have a foretaste of life in God’s perfect kingdom. We’ll be singing three classic old “Jerusalem” hymns to mark the occasion…some of you will recognize “Jerusalem, the golden” from your earlier days.
As King David knew, and Jesus knew, it is imperative that we keep before us the vision of God’s kingdom as it will one day be fully realized. Without that vision, we can lose our way and follow the wrong trail forward. Without that vision, we can also lose hope that the world can change and become better…more and more aligned with God’s will. Even in the midst of the world’s major ills, from ISIS to Greece’s economic collapse, I believe we can detect signs of progress which must make God smile. In our own country, more of us will have affordable health care, and more of us can marry the one we love. We can give thanks for these glimpses of God’s kingdom breaking into our world. JBM