A Reflection on the Ark in Jerusalem and the Book of Chronicles

The First Reading is 1 Chronicles 16:23-34.

The book of Chronicles is a bit of a time-warp for us. In our Year with the Bible reading, last we showed us the destruction of Jerusalem. The very next book in our bible is 1 Chronicles which begins with Adam’s genealogy. In someways, we’re starting over. Scholars argue that 1 and 2 Chronicles was written after much of the Hebrew Bible (otherwise known as the Old Testament) was put together. The book rely on the Torah (the first five books of the bible), 1st and 2nd Samuel, and 1st and 2nd Kings to tell its story. But the author of 1 and 2 Chronicles included other sources and information that wasn’t included in the prior books (and sometimes contradicts it). Why does scripture include different books that sometimes tell competing or different stories? One reason that makes sense to me is that Scripture isn’t afraid of a wider story. Scripture includes all the stories and traditions because, without them, God’s story would not be as big as it truly is. Our desire for one authentic, historical, and “correct” storyline isn’t scripture gives us. Instead, scripture wants to tell all of God’s story which is bigger than we can imagine.

Today’s poem takes place when David brings the Ark into Jerusalem. It’s a composite piece, pulling together several different psalms to praise God. Think of it as a mixtape to God, with Psalm 96 and Psalm 106 being used together to describe who God is. And this is what praise is: telling who God is. When we gather together to worship God, we’re not gathering because God needs our praise or God needs to be flattered. We gather to tell God’s story, to share what God has done, and how God is with us. Praise is proclaiming and sharing that God is good and howe we can live in God’s goodness. When the ark enters Jerusalem, David’s words of praise are about living in God’s goodness because “his steadfast love endures forever” and that love is for me, you, and the entire world.

Each week, I write a reflection on one of our scripture readings for the week. This is from Christ Lutheran Church’s Worship Bulletin for 7th Sunday of Easter on 5/08/2016.