2 Samuel 7:8–11, 16
Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever.
Reflection by Janet Derby
My grandson Jamie was asking me about going to the church on Christmas Eve this year. He wondered when the last time was that I didn’t go to church on Christmas. I told him I cannot recall a year when I didn’t go, though I do recall one blizzardy eve in Ohio when half the choir, including the choir director were unable to get out of their driveways. It will feel very strange to say the least this year, but this passage from Samuel reminds us that it is not the building that matters. Despite King David not being able to build God’s temple, God declares his house and realm will be established forever. The Scriptures of Advent are full of references to David’s line which tell this truth. We too can be assured that the spirit of the season is with us even if we cannot gather in our sanctuary. Its presence is felt in the symbols surrounding us, our trees, candles, and manger scenes. It is heard in the carols we hear despite not being able to sing them together. The house of God is not merely a building but rather is all around us.
Thank you for the signs of your shepherding presence during this Advent season. May we recognize and share your light and love during this time. Amen.