The problems of power: First and Second Samuel

This post is in the series Rite Reading.

There are a few carefully selected stories from the two books of Samuel which occur in the lectionary. There is a larger number in those churches which use the continuous Old Testament lectionary. This wider selection is not surprising, as these books tell the story, often quite critically, of the establishment of the Israelite monarchy. They also present a warts-and-all picture of the man who would come to be revered as the ideal king, David of Bethlehem.

King David Playing the Harp (detail), Gerard van Honthorst, 1622, via Wikimedia Commons
Continue reading “The problems of power: First and Second Samuel”

How should we pray in public about the election?

Elections pose even more problems than usual for people who prepare and lead prayers in their churches. That is never more true than in situations like the present: divided politics, polarised societies, and partisan journalism. There is a sense that the skeleton that has largely underpinned the body politic is, if not exactly broken, in a state of advanced osteoporosis.

So what should those who lead prayer say, if they are to enable the church as a whole to agree in prayer? The problem is that the phrases that unite are often sufficiently anodyne to disguise a multitude of meanings.

Continue reading “How should we pray in public about the election?”