Homily for the ninth Sunday after Pentecost – Of fear and faith

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Good morning bus riders!

I hope everyone received the email with the link to the Episcopal lectionary page and read all of the readings. We don’t waste time reading them here; but, I do talk about every reading possible, not just some.

With that said, let’s get started. That bus is coming.

Well, after several weeks talking about all the wonderful things David did, the primary Old Testament reading tells of David sinking into sin.

Raise your hand if you think it is odd that for all Yahweh would do for David, He would stand back and let David completely fall apart.

<Look for raised hands or quizzical faces.>

Just last Sunday we talked about David telling Nathan he wanted to build a house of cedar for the Ark to reside in. Nathan said, Yahweh is with you, so that must be a good idea. Then, Yahweh appeared to Nathan and made it clear, “You tell David not to do that.”

The question now should be, “Why didn’t Yahweh appear to Nathan and tell him to warn David not to sin? Why not warn him to be extra careful?”

This past week it became clear to me, when I read, “David remained at Jerusalem.” He stayed home at a time “when kings go out to battle.”

David quit being a king.

David had been chosen by Yahweh to be the judge who would be anointed as the one to replace Saul as the King of Israel.

A judge – based on the history of the Book of Judges – only has effect for forty years. That is like two generations, which is how long Moses judged over the Israelites when he led them away from Egypt.

David’s time playing King of Israel was up. So, when spring time called kings to go out and battle, David woke up and said, “Nah. Not into it anymore.”

This past week it dawned on me that David had to fall, in the same way that Adam and Eve had to fall. Adam and Eve had to sin to be kicked out of Eden, so they could begin a lineage of saintly human beings, of whom David would become one. David had to fall so it would be clear that no human being can ever replace Yahweh as the King.

That fits my view of Israel – the nation of peoples – entering the Promised Land in the same way pregnancy happens.

The people who followed Yahweh were the embryo that became the fetus that was David. After David, the cells divided and grew to the point when it was necessary to leave the womb. The birth of Israel – a name that means “He Retains God” – could not be complete if that meaning never left the womb. Thus, the Promised Land is a mother’s womb.

Adam and Eve had to be born into the world to begin religion.

Israel had to be born into the world to spread the idea of One God. For that birth to come, David had to fall so the womb would never be imagined as a permanent place of residence.

In the same way, Jesus came like David, as a necessary growth to a point when death (or fall) was inevitable. Jesus died so many could be saved by receiving his soul divinely.

Jesus being reborn – a concept that Nicodemus scoffed at – means all future Christians would need to become pregnant with Jesus.

David’s problems began when Bathsheba sent word to him, saying, “I’m pregnant.”

David quit being a divine king and impregnated a woman he took sinfully with what would reflect all future kings of Israel and Judah. All would be born of normal human beings, with nothing special there to write home about.

The fall of David was known by Yahweh. Yahweh had David take Jerusalem and move the Ark there, as symbolic acts that said, “I am king only for a short while. The Ark entering holy ground symbolizes how each individual must marry his or her soul to Yahweh; because, Yahweh is the only King that lives eternally.”

All of the subsequent acts that David did, beyond lustfully seeing a naked woman and making her submit sexually to his position of absolute power and authority, was magnified tenfold by every subsequent king, including Solomon.

Everything read today in Second Samuel eleven says what kings do. David had quit being an extension of Yahweh as a judge whose presence within one human beings exuded onto the people, like some divine form of osmosis. David began acting like Cinderella, after the clock struck midnight and she changed back into her old self.

When one realizes that, Jesus would have been the same. To have Jesus rule some united Israel, after felling the giant that was Rome, all the people would have miraculously become true Christians by osmosis. Then, like David, Yahweh’s expiration date for humans acting like God would have come; and, Jesus would have done the same as Adam. Not on purpose, but because the soul can never have a body of flesh that lives forever, so no body of flesh can represent Yahweh eternally.

We see that in the Gospel reading from John. Jesus was the embodiment of Yahweh when he sat atop the ‘mountain’ with his apostles. All the people crowded down below were just like the Israelites under David. Jesus was their shepherd, just as Israel was shepherded by David.

Jesus knew his time as the “king” of the people could not last. So, when we read, “Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself,” that says Jesus had already taken steps to prepare the people for the time after Jesus.

Just as David took the steps of taking Jerusalem and bringing the Ark there, then leaving it in a tent that was movable, Jesus had picked twelve lead disciples and then given them his powers as ministers, sending them out into ministry. Jesus and his apostles were moving examples of a tabernacle with the Ark within, who went to the people, just as the people came to them.

The event that is known as the feeding of the five thousand – an event told of by all four Gospel writers – must be seen as a significant miracle. From one basket that held five barley loaves and two fish were five thousand fed, with twelves baskets full of leftover food.

What has to be seen in those numbers – five and two – is the metaphor that is the Torah and the Prophets.

The five books of Moses are the five loaves that fed the crowd.

And the Prophets were all the dualities of a soul married to Yahweh, as two – a soul merged with Spirit – in one body of flesh.

Last Sunday I pointed out how Mark’s Gospel reading spoke of before and after this miracle feeding, where Jesus having sent out his disciples with his powers and abilities came in handy when passing out spiritual food to the multitude.

I mentioned that the word translated that said the apostles gathered together around Jesus, seemingly to tell him all about what they did ‘in his name,’ was the word that is the root of “synagogue.” Jesus had chosen this place by the sea as his place for gathering together, so it was in essence his synagogue.

Jesus then knew the Passover would bring huge crowds of pilgrims into Galilee; and, all of those visitors would need a place to be fed spiritual food on the Sabbaths. Jesus planned on opening his ‘mega-church’ by the sea. To accommodate the large crowd, he planned on having twelve to assist in that feeding, who had already found what ministry was like.

This makes the miracle of the people physically eating bread and fish pale in comparison to the true number of people – there might have been twelve thousand, counting women and children – who were fed spiritually, with Jesus appearing to them all as his twelve different apostles. The miracle of Christianity is greater in this story than the miracle of making so little food become so great.

The optional Old Testament reading from Second Kings – only three verses – is a parallel miracle. The grain for twenty loaves of barley bread and whatever other first fruits were in the knapsack, must be seen as nothing, when set before a hundred hungry prophets.

During the times of Elisha there was a prolonged drought that had created famine. All the people of the Northern Kingdom were physically starving. Whatever first fruits had been grown, those new crops were still demanded by divine decree to be set in a holy place for fifty days, upon which time the High Priest of the temple would declare them fit to be consumed.

The Northern Kingdom had two temples, not just one. They had a temple in Dan, which was almost in Assyria; and, they had one in Bethel, which was just north of Jerusalem. So, the first fruits taken to Elisha was a miracle in itself, as Elisha and his hundred prophets were persona non grata at that time. The greater miracle there is the prophets were fed spiritual food from Yahweh, which was what they needed to continue a prophets in a land ruled by corrupt rulers.

In this way, Elisha and the hundred prophets need to be seen reflected in Jesus and the twelve apostles. The delivery of the first fruits then has to be seen reflecting the arrival of spiritual food to starving souls, in the same way the five loaves and two fish were.

The gathering together of so many in Jesus’ tabernacle, where his soul was the Ark, says the pilgrims in town for the Passover were likewise starving souls in need of spiritual food.

When we read John write, “When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world,” that says they realized their souls had been filled more than their bellies.

The aspect about them “seizing” Jesus and making him their king must then be seen as the souls of those satisfied by spiritual lessons that prophesied a Messiah to come, in some unknown way they knew Jesus would soon be their king individually. That statement by John should then be read as a prophecy of Christianity to come.

This is why the story does not end with the feeding of the five thousand. It continues to the story of Jesus walking on the sea.

That continuation then shows the apostles as only ‘in the name of Jesus’ while Jesus was nearby. When they went out in the boat without Jesus – metaphor of ministry expected to come when Jesus would have died – they could not manage the storms and the waves. They still needed to see him walking, because without Jesus physically with them, they were fearful.

This forces us to see the reason why we read John’s version. Only in John’s story does it come out, as told by Andrew: “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?”

That becomes a statement similar to that of David arriving with lunch for his brothers, only to find out everyone was afraid of a giant named Goliath.

Can you hear what Andrew said as eerily similar to what was said when David said, “Send me!”

<Look for nodding heads and smiling faces.>

A boy with a basket containing the Torah and the Prophets is the same as a boy having smooth stones from the Torah in a pouch, ready to load one into a sling.

The boy that was David knew no fear. He went out and slew the giant, because Yahweh’s Spirit had been poured out upon him. That boy David could not be defeated in battle.

That boy hung it all up when David was sixty years old and he quit being king. The boy that came up in that story was Uriah the Hittite, the husband of Bathsheba.

Uriah would come into the story to reflect the boy that David had been. David plotted against Uriah like Saul had plotted against him, when he was Uriah’s age. David was still filled with Yahweh’s Spirit, so David survived.

Uriah was then the honest and devoted soul that was the boy David, only stripped of all divine protection. When David sent Uriah to his death, and Uriah bravely went and was killed on purpose – a convenient murder – King David died along with Uriah.

Uriah reflects the willing sacrifice that Jesus would be sent alone into battle, without any divine protection to save him as a human king.

The boy holding a basket that is armed with the Torah and the Prophets is a soul that knows no fear.

That becomes metaphor for a soul that has no self-ego to lose. The ego of a boy of faith is that of Yahweh alone. A boy with a basket holding the Torah and the Prophets wears the face of Yahweh as his armor.

For all the experience the apostles had, before coming back to Jesus from their commissions and during the presenting of the spiritual food to famine-stricken seekers, when they departed that evening they were unprepared to face struggles.

When the storm came and the winds made the waters rough, the boy’s faith in Yahweh left them and they feared greatly.

When we read Jesus saying to the frightened apostles, “It is I; do not be afraid,” this needs to be the comfort a soul feels when Jesus has been resurrected within one’s own soul, telling that soul, “You are me as I am your king. Do not be afraid, as my being in you means Yahweh’s face will overcome all struggles.”

Now, Paul was an example of one who feared all who promoted Jesus, when he was named Saul. When he encountered the soul of Jesus on the road to Damascus and was blinded, he began a transformation. He submitted his soul to Yahweh and was reborn as Jesus; and, as a symbol of the new little boy that held the basket of five loaves and two fish, he changed his name to Paul – a name meaning “Small.”

That has to be seen as Paul putting on the face of Yahweh; and, all of his letters must be read as Yahweh speaking through Paul’s words, because Paul reflects the whole purpose behind David doing all the things he was divinely led to do and the purpose behind what Jesus did in his ministry.

Therefore, Paul wrote in ways that demand the reader also bring forth the little boy that is their soul that has also married Yahweh and wears His face.

The translators of Paul’s letters are not so transformed. This means Paul’s letter – all the Epistles read each Sunday – demand one not look at the size of the beast with fear; and, instead look at what was written with discerning eyes.

By doing that, one finds that a segment of words written by Paul are omitted from the reading today. When we read, “I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name,” the reality of what was written says, “Here by reason of I bow these knees of me to the Father , <of this lord of ours of Jesus of Christ> , from out of whom all family in spirit and in flesh is named.”

That says Paul had submitted his soul to Yahweh in divine marriage. That made Yahweh become his Father, more than a Husband, due to his soul being unified with the souls of Jesus, which made both souls Anointed ones of Yahweh, so Yahweh was family, as the Father, due to His Son having been reborn within Paul, so Paul – like all the true Christians of Ephesus and all other Saints – was “in the name of Jesus Christ.”

Paul wore the face of Yahweh. He wrote to others who would discern what that meant, because they too wore that face of Yahweh, from having bowed down self-ego is Spiritual marriage.

Paul and every true Christian since the first Pentecost we recognize as Christians was the result of what David did and what Elisha continued until Jesus finalized the original intent of Moses taking the Israelites out of Egypt.

We are expected to be just like Paul. We are expected to write letters of encouragement to those who we ministered to, bringing those souls to realize their need to marry Yahweh and enter ministry.

These who bow their knees in submission to Yahweh are what I have been saying for quite some time now. The scholars who translate Hebrew texts into English – even the Jews who read those Hebrew texts – see the word “elohim” – which is clearly the plural form of “god,” as “gods” – and they transform that word to the singular, capitalized “God.”

That blinds all who would become the true purpose of David, Elisha, Jesus and Paul, as each and every one of them was a lower-case “god,” as the “gods” that are divinely possessed by Yahweh, called His “elohim.”

In Psalm 14, which is chosen to accompany the fall of David, the first verse sings out, “The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." All are corrupt and commit abominable acts; there is none who does any good.”

The reality of what David sang says fools are those souls that think, “There are no elohim.” They think it is beyond the power of Yahweh to create Saints, who are “gods” on earth, as extensions of His – “hands” of Yahweh on earth.

It is those foolish souls that were like Saul and persecuted true Christians, simply because they did not believe Yahweh could take human form. All of the acts of such foolish souls are corrupt, abominable, and evil.

David was an elohim of Yahweh, until he quit being a king and did acts that were corrupt, abominable and evil.

The apostles were able to heal the sick, preach the truth and cast out unclean spirit, as long as they had Jesus around to physically tell them what to do. When they started thinking about how much responsibility that was, they reverted to be fools who did not believe Yahweh could be in them, just like Yahweh was in Jesus.

Psalm 14 is all about those lost souls that are fools and do foolish things.

Psalm 145, on the other hand, sings loudly about how great it is for a soul to have become married to Yahweh. David sang that song like he knew what it meant to have Yahweh be his King.

In verse 15 – the real verse 15, which the Episcopal Church lists as verse 16 – sings out, “The eyes of all wait upon you, Yahweh, and you give them their food in due season.”

The “eyes” can also translate as “appearance.” When an “appearance waits on you Yahweh,” that says one wears the face of God, which can only come after Spiritual marriage.

When David sang, “you give them their food in due season,” that ‘food” is spiritual food, which nourished the soul.

“In due season” is when one is spiritually starved and in need of being uplifted.

As long as one wears the face of Yahweh, then there is no giant too big to do battle with. There is no famine too long to give in to. There is no crowd too large that cannot be fed with the Torah and the Prophets, filling every soul, with baskets still left over for the next day.

The paradox of today’s lessons say it is easy to quit, it is easy to be hungry and lose hope. It says it is easy to see obstacles with doubts and fear. It is easy to be a fool that rejects marriage to Yahweh.

Still, miracles are just as easily come by, when one is married to Yahweh and not afraid to say His name. Miracles come to those who have become elohim, as those who have found Yahweh as their Father, having been reborn as Jesus, as one Anointed by Yahweh … as was the little boy David.

The call of Pentecost is to enter ministry; and, it is the child in us that wants to answer that call, before we have been prepared to successfully meet that challenge.

God is watching each of us, at all times. We have to bend our knees to Him, through acts of self-sacrifice, which means giving up all which says it is foolish to study Scripture and pray for insight into the deeper meaning.

When one’s “eyes” have reached the point of seeing the truth and “waiting on Yahweh” to show us some more truth, then we will find the manna from heaven is more than can be consumed in one day.

We will be fed enough spiritual food as our souls can handle each day.

We just need to reach the point where we show Yahweh we are ready to take in more.

I think I see the bus coming now, so we’ll end for today.

May all your travels bring you back to God.