Fourth Sunday in Advent, Year B

Inspired by 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16

“I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built me a house of cedar?’” 2 Samuel 7:6-7 (NRSV)

We are human beings, and as such we think as human beings. God, however, is not a human being, though we frequently project our own desires and preferences onto him, as though they were his own.

David recognized that this period of rest from his enemies and being settled into a comfortable home were blessings from God, and he believed that God should be blessed the same way. So he endeavored to build a house for the ark of the Lord, assuming that God would enjoy the same comfort.

God has his own priorities, and they involve the well-being of his people. He had no interest in the roof and four walls David envisioned for him, even as he knew that such comforts and symbols of security were essential to his people. Rather, he desired to be present among his people, with them in their daily lives, just as he does now. The things we treasure—comfort, security, wealth—are not what God desires from us. He would rather our love, our devotion, and our acknowledgment of his presence in our lives.

Let us pray. Transcendent God, your ways are not our ways. Help us to give to you that which you desire, that we may recognize all we enjoy as signs of your gracious love. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.