by Fr. Dmitri, New Zealand
Saturday 8 November 2008 (29 Paapi; 29 Babah)
If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy;
for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are,
(1 Cor. 3:17)
The Prayer of the Third Hour was set at the same time as
the Holy Spirit descended on the Disciples as they were
gathered with one accord, in the Upper Room of the house
of St. Mark, our beloved evangelist.
(Heguman Pishoy Kamel)
You stay awake looking after me as if you have forgotten
all the creation. You grant me all your gifts as if I am
the only one you love. O God wherever I go I find you in
front of me.
If you rejoice in this world, do not trust this joy, and
if you grieve, do not despair. Do not let joy corrupt you
nor oppression destroy you.
The Angel answered and said to her. The Holy Spirit shall
come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall
Truly indeed, the mind is a gift from God but it often
goes astray and deviates from the faith.
(Pope Shenouda III)
I think that you are not ignorant that the enemies
of virtue are always plotting against the Truth.
(Anthony the Great)
When Christ came, He banished the devil from our hearts,
in order to build in them a temple for Himself. Let us them
do what we can with His help, so that our evil deeds will
not deface that Temple.
Lord Jesus, help us to be a true temple of God: Father, Son
and Holy Ghost. Grant us the grace to keep this temple
holy and pleasing to You all our days.
(Caesarius of Arles)
And it came to pass, as the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, came to the City of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul, looking out of a window, saw King David dancing and playing and she despised him in her heart. (1 Chron. 15:29)
It had long been David's desire to build a Temple for the Lord in Jerusalem, but the Lord denied him this task as David was a Man of War not peace. The next best thing was to rescue the Ark out of the hand of the Philistines and bring it back to Jerusalem.
It was not brought straight back to Jerusalem. It was left in the care of Obed-edom the Gittite (who was a Philistine) and his house was blessed by the Lord through the presence of the Ark.
Then David went back to collect the Ark and there was a long procession and David threw off his royal robes and wore just a linen Ephod and danced before the Lord as the Ark was representative of God with us. David did not give a fig who saw him as he was so happy that the Ark was restored to God's people. Dancing and playing was his expression of Praising the Lord.
There were many others in the Procession who were singing and playing musical instruments and making a joyful noise before the Lord. There are various ways of Praising the Lord. There is corporate Praise, which sometimes can be stilted, stuffy, vain repetition and really have no meaning. Or it could be spontaneous praise, lifting your voices in Praise either by singing or other means of joyfulness. Then we have private Praise. Do not be afraid to say 'Praise the Lord' either in your heart or out loud, if you have a situation that needs an expression of praise. Even saying Alleluia is appropriate. Do not be afraid of making a joyful noise before the Lord.
Now we have Michal the daughter of Saul and David's wife. She had her father's characteristics and so different from Jonathon, you would hardly think they were siblings. It really galled her to see David frolicking, cavorting about in front of all those people and in her mind making a complete fool of himself. Not at all how a king should behave in her eyes. Of course she did not really know God or David. In her eyes he was just an uncouth shepherd boy, below her station.
What she really could not stomach, was that his behavior before the Ark and in front of the populace of Jerusalem would no doubt bounce back on her. She was such a prude and her pride and self esteem had been besmirched. She should have gone out to meet him and taken part in the Celebrations which were taking place on the Feast of Tabernacles.
I think of the Hymn 'Praise God from whom all Blessings flow. Let us all say with cheerful voice:
"PRAISE THE LORD."
To Thee be Glory and Praise, now and ever, unto Ages of Ages.
Evening: Psalm 46:1-7; Gospel: Mark 1:16-22.
Morning: Psalm 146:1-5; Gospel: Matt.4:18-22.
Liturgy: Gal.1:1-19; James 1:1-12; Acts 15:13-21;
Psalms 78:5; 135:5; Gospel: Mark 10:35-45.
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