Nathan before King David. Clement-Pierre Marillier (1740-1808)
This is definitely David. There is the harp of his psalms, there is the throne of his rule. But why is his head in his hands? How could one of such privilege look so miserable?
That is the prophet Nathan before David. Using a parable, Nathan has held up a mirror to David. And David has seen himself as God and others see him. David is brought to his senses, beginning with an experience of regret and confession. (2 Samuel 12:1-15). As with David, how often with us!
Have a look at the Order of Service below, and join us either in the sanctuary or by live-stream at https://youtu.be/IM8l5WsY0e0. We welcome Aurora Dokkens back to the organ bench this Sunday morning and Susanne Cliff-Jüngling as cantor. Organ preludes will begin around 10:25 a.m. and the service will commence at 10:30 a.m. Previous services can be found on the St. Andrew’s Youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/StAndrewsPresbyterianChurchKingston
The Order of Service and announcements can be found below, with the hymns printed out further down the page. The lyrics to the hymns provide some wonderful mediative verse, from the Scottish Psalter of 1650 (O thou my soul, bless God the Lord) to the English poet George Herbert (King of glory, King of peace) to a contemporary Christian with a Canadian connection, Anna Briggs (We lay our broken world in sorrow at your feet).
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Mephibosheth before David: The Morgan Bible, c.1244
Mephibosheth is not a name that rolls easily off my English-language-shaped tongue. Mainly because, I imagine, it is a name so infrequently heard or spoken. But Mephibosheth is a character critical to our understanding of David as king, and perhaps to our understanding of Christ and our calling as Christians.
I could not find many images of this scene from 2 Samuel 9. And it is interesting that of those images that are available from across the ages, most focus upon the crutches of Mephibosheth as he is brought before King David. But when David asks ‘To whom may I show the kindness of God?’ and then sends for Mephibosheth to be brought to him, I do not believe it is Mephibosheth’s crippled body that is David’s primary focus. David’s intention is not primarily an act of charity but a decision to let go of vengeance and embrace a life that gives life. I invite you explore this theme with me during the sermon this Sunday morning.
Have a look at the Order of Service below, and join us either in the sanctuary or by live-stream at https://youtu.be/9KuUCy6hkGw.. We welcome Aurora Dokkens back to the organ bench this Sunday morning. We also welcome Margaret Moncrieff who will share, as an introduction to our prayers of intercession, lyrics and music she has composed in response to the recent revealing of so many unmarked graves of indigenous children at former residential schools and the transfer of the Macdonald statue in our city – ‘Where do we go from here?’. Organ preludes will begin around 10:25 a.m. and the service will commence at 10:30 a.m. Previous services can be found on the St. Andrew’s Youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/StAndrewsPresbyterianChurchKingston
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David in Prayer before God: Psalter (Flanders, 1465 – 1475)
Behind David are imagined and impressive constructions of the new capital of the newly united people of God. David is in prayer to the Holy One, keenly aware that no ‘house’ has yet been built for the Lord who brought them into this new beginning, and David pledges to do so in gratitude and honour of the Lord. But as we continue following the story of David and hear the declaration ‘I will make you a house’ (2 Samuel 7:27), it is not David who speaks!
The scene is portrayed in typical 15th century European styles of architecture, costume and even divine imagery (with the Holy One wearing a bishop’s mitre!), but what we now see as ‘dated’ was at the time intentionally ‘contemporary’. I wonder what meaning and application this scene might hold for us today?
Have a look at the Order of Service below, and join us either in the sanctuary or by live-stream at https://youtu.be/Mvm_fgG8uP4. We welcome Aurora Dokkens to the organ bench this morning. Organ preludes will begin around 10:25 a.m. and the service will commence at 10:30 a.m. Previous services can be found on the St. Andrew’s Youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/StAndrewsPresbyterianChurchKingston
During the service Andrew mentions the video recently released by the town of Gananoque of various community groups dancing to ‘Jerusalema’ (https://www.facebook.com/watch/?extid=SEO—-&v=231114188698167 based on a South African gospel song and an older hymn. You can find the English lyrics here … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rljLLejltdY and a commentary here … https://africa.thegospelcoalition.org/article/jerusalema/
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David Dancing Before the Ark. Bronze Relief by C. Malcolm Powers
From time to time I enjoy re-reading a collection of prayers by the Australian author and artist Michael Leunig. This week I thought of one from The Prayer Tree – ‘God bless our contradictions, those parts of us which seem out of character. Let us be boldly and gladly out of character. Let us be creatures of paradox and variety: creatures of contrast; of light and shade: creatures of faith. God be our constant. Let us step out of character into the unknown, to struggle and love and do what we will. Amen.’
I thought of this dimension of the contradictions of life this past Canada Day, when many of us experienced both grief and gratitude. There are contradictions in our life of faith as well of course. As we reflect upon our journey by following the life of David, we arrive at that scene (2 Samuel 6) when the Ark of the Covenant was brought into Jerusalem, and both fear and joy were experienced.
Have a look at the Order of Service below, and join us either in the sanctuary or by live-stream at https://youtu.be/PH7VOpsv9uQ. Organ preludes will begin around 10:20 a.m. and the service will commence at 10:30 a.m. We will be celebrating the Sacrament of Holy Communion, so feel free to prepare at home some bread and a cup in advance – in the sanctuary, small packaged units will be available as you enter for you to take to your pew. Previous services can be found on the St. Andrew’s Youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/StAndrewsPresbyterianChurchKingston
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The St. Andrew’s Commons have begun hosting the youth acting classes of Bottletree Theatre. And there is action inside the limestone walls also! Every Sunday through the summer, 10:30 a.m., you are invited to join in Christian worship … in the sanctuary or live-streamed online (with links provided on this page each weekend). Have a look at the Days of Summer brochure below for details. You would be welcome!
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David the King: Fresco by Tarquinio Ligustri (1603)
This fresco in the Basilica san Vitale of Rome makes me think … David holds a harp and I remember that it is from the witness of David that we receive the psalms, words we continue to use in our relationship with the Holy One when our own words fail us … David wears a crown and I remember how God used him to bring together God’s people, an embrace and rule that was completed we believe in Jesus the Christ … David looks reflective and pensive and I think upon how close is his life to ours – his passions and his failures, his self-centredness and his faithfulness – and through it all God working God’s good purposes. I invite you to join me for a series of sermons that will focus upon ‘David and Us’.
This is the Sunday before Canada Day, and we will lift up special prayers for our nation, or more accurately for the peoples of our nation. Have a look at the Order of Service below, and join us either in the sanctuary or by live-stream with a link to be available here Sunday morning. Organ preludes will begin around 10:20 a.m. and the service will commence at 10:30 a.m. Other services can be found on the St. Andrew’s Youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/StAndrewsPresbyterianChurchKingston
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Leaders from several of our national indigenous ministries invite us to a time of worship with them on this day, and through this Indigenous History Month.
We can learn more about indigenous ministries at https://presbyterian.ca/canadian-ministries/indigenous-ministries/