Advent 4, Friday, Year B

Inspired by 2 Samuel 6:12-19

“When David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the offerings of well-being, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts, and distributed food among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, to each a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people went back to their homes.” 2 Samuel 6:18-19 (NRSV)

It is standard practice in many churches to dismiss the congregation with a command along the lines of, “Go in peace, serve the Lord!” The congregation responds by saying, “Thanks be to God!” and then everyone gets up and goes about their day and the rest of the week. But how do we serve the Lord once we leave our weekly worship service? How are we supposed to serve the Lord?

The chronology of events in this reading from 2 Samuel is interesting. First David worships, then he goes out and blesses everyone else in the name of the Lord, and then he shares the richness of his own material blessings (good food) with them. He does not do these things in order to earn favor with God, but rather as a response to worshiping God. As David ‘went in peace and served the Lord’ he did so by proclaiming God’s love to those he saw when he left the worship space, and sharing with them his own possessions.

While we may not have the riches of King David, we still are capable of responding in the same way. Many people who don’t attend worship still need to hear that God’s blessings are upon them. Most of us, if we’re being honest, will acknowledge that we have more material possessions than we strictly need, and are able to share some of those blessings with others. Being able to worship the Lord of hosts is such a blessing to us; as we leave the worship space, let us truly go in peace, and serve the Lord.

Let us pray. Lord of hosts, you have blessed us not only with your presence among us, but with your grace and with material possessions. Refresh us in worship, that we may be so filled with your love that we can’t help but proclaim your good news and share all the good things you have given us. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.