top of page
  • alisonwale

It's Complicated

We are on our "Summer Programme" - that means we are having services every two weeks, and at 17.30 CET. If you'd like to join us, in person or by Zoom, then please contact the church office for further details

Here is the sermon preached by our Priest in Charge, Rev. Dr. Susan Carter, on Sunday 11th July

­­Pentecost VII - Year B

2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19

Psalm 24

Ephesians 1:3-14

Mark 6:14-29

It’s Complicated

“As the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal daughter of Saul looked out of the window, and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.”

It had been a glorious day – a remarkable series of days and months – for David and his men.

He was the king of Israel. Saul, the king before him, was long gone. And now, he had recaptured the Ark of the Covenant bringing it to Jerusalem, the seat of his government, the City of David.

How incredible! This was the very same ark that Moses had ordered built to hold the two stone tablets. They were the ones with the Ten Commandments that the Lord had given him on Mt. Sinai.

It had taken 30-thousand men to secure the Ark and bring it back, but there they were, entering the city in triumph.

There were drums and cymbals and trumpets, a cacophony of sound. And who should be at the head of the parade but David, the king.

Still young, he was jumping and leaping, full of joy at the feat they had accomplished, and the arrival of this most sacred object.

There was a small problem. Maybe it was hot – Jerusalem can get that way – or maybe he was a little over-enthusiastic, but there was a little problem.

David was not wearing clothes.

Oh, maybe he had the equivalent of a skimpy Speedo. Possibly not even that. There he was, the king of Israel – the King! – dancing and parading around for all the world to see.

Michal, his wife was watching this demonstration, this exhibition David was putting on.

How could he do this? How could he cavort in front of all of the young women who were out there in the crowd, eager to see the returning soldiers and their king, and the Ark?

Didn’t he know how embarrassing that was to her? How hurtful?

Michal had been through so much for him. She loved David, she really loved him – and now this parade of self.

Michal sat there, looking out the window, and confusion surrounded her.

It was complicated.

You see, Michal was King Saul’s daughter, and Saul had offered her in marriage to David if David could come back with proof that he had killed one-hundred Philistines.

Michal was thrilled at the prospect of marrying David because she had fallen in love with this handsome young man whose star was rising.

Saul was betting otherwise. No way David was going to kill all those Philistines.

David would probably be killed, and a challenger to Saul would be out of the way. Michal – well she might be a little heartbroken for a while, but she’d get over it.

She was young, and it was just puppy love.

But David succeeded, and he married Michal. It was a political alliance for him, marrying the king’s daughter – and she’d do as a wife.

Michal, though, was ecstatic. She was the wife of the man she adored.

Michal even helped David escape when her own father tried to kill him. In return, Saul married her off to another man. David, whom she loved, was gone.

It was complicated.

David – God’s chosen one – defeated Saul and he was made king. One of the first things he did was ask for Michal to be returned to him, to be his wife once more.

Could things be any better?

But it wasn’t for love that David wanted her back. It was to keep anyone else from having her. With Michal, he firmed up his claim to the throne and kept all others away.

She desperately loved him. He was building his dynasty. She was a pawn.

It was complicated.

Sitting there in the window, watching the man she had loved so deeply and risked greatly for behave like that – it was just too much. Her confusion turned to anger. When he came inside the palace, years of frustration at being used, at being nothing more than a hostage to politics welled up inside and came out.

This, this - peasant who had exploited her and traded on her love had made a fool of her.

David shot back that the Lord had picked him to be king, it was the Lord he was dancing for, not to show off for the crowds. At the end of the day, he continued, they honor me.

It was complicated.

Michal soon fades from David’s stage. She never has children, lowering her status in that society, and she is replaced by other wives.

Her usefulness was finished. She exits, seemingly in hatred.

And yet, she had been faithful, operating out of love for David, and really fulfilling God’s plan for David to be king of Israel.

Her story reminds us of the many similar accounts of women that we have heard and read about – stories of women we perhaps even know.

Women who have sacrificed, only to be tossed aside for a series of “trophy wives.”

Michal’s story reminds us not to judge too quickly, but to understand the difficulties that many women, who have had little control over their lives, face.

Sometimes, things are not as simple as they seem. There are other factors that enter in – unnamed forces in play that may not be immediately apparent.

Ours is not to judge, but patiently listen as we seek to listen to and to understand the stories of women who have been used.

It is not the headline, but the whole story that we must be open to. What is happening matters a great deal. It is the “rest of the story.”

Because, often, it’s complicated.


7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page