June 24, 2021
2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27
for Sunday, June 27
2 Corinthians 8:7-15
The Rev. Laura Daly
1:17 David sang this lament for Saul and for Jonathan, and he said to teach hard things to the sons of Judah—look, it is written down in the Book of Jashar:
~lamentation is the theme for this Sunday: the King laments (power and blessing and glory do not insulate us from grief), people gather, weeping and wailing, to lament the death of Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:21-43), Psalm 130 IS a lament: “out of the depths I cry to you.”
The woman who had been hemorrhaging for 12 years surely lamented the lost vitality, time, and all that “She had endured … under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse.” Then, as now, healthcare was expensive.
Those who lament are right to do so. Then and now. Lamenting is not a sign of weakness or indulgence, but a healthy expression of grief. Without lament there can be no joy…not only because lament provides contrast for joy, but also because without lament we will not motivate to change and cannot know what direction change should take.
“David said to teach hard things to the sons of Judah”— we too have hard things to learn. We should lament the unjust treatment of Black, Brown, & Indigenous people in this nation, we should lament deaths by gun, and by willful ignorance about a virus. We should lament the lack of access to clean water, homeownership, basic internet, safe bridges, etc. We should lament the fiery furnace into which our actions and inaction have thrust everyone west of the Mississippi. We should lament the failing electrical infrastructure that cannot meet the demand for AC. We should lament the people who are dying because of these shortfalls. We should lament the particular lives and relationships lost…and as that takes more and more time and exhausts our emotional resources, may we be inspired to change. These are hard things. We can do hard things.
David lamented the particular deaths of Saul (who tried to kill him) and Jonathan (who loved him). He honored their relationship (and spruced it up a bit…Saul had twice been ready to kill his son; but David glossed that with—“in their life and death they were never parted”.) David commands mourning and asks the news not to travel to Philistine lest their people (Judah’s enemies) rejoice. And he is explicit about his grief for Jonathan “more wondrous your love to me than the love of women.” This is detailed remembering, honoring the fallen by remembering all they were; there is knowledge, understanding, detail, and direction to this lament.
And David sang this lament. His skill with music is remembered throughout scripture, but this is no solo spotlight performance. Singing helps. It helps channel grief. It brings mourners together and speaks heart-sounds. Singing has defused tense stand-offs. This singing is less about skill and more about breathing and communal creation. Certain tunes transport us to events and times in our life. And music helps us remember (who else sings the alphabet to find a book at the library or a spice at the grocery store?). What we remember is shaped by the songwriter, the living. David has outlived Saul and can now put on the title (King) Saul wore past the departure of God’s favor. With grace David remembers Saul not as the aging, unstable monarch, bereft of the Lord’s favor, but rather as the valiant warrior, father of Jonathan and provider of wealth. A final gift. Read the words, imagine the tune.
“Your glory, O Israel, lies slain upon your high places! How the mighty have fallen!
Tell it not in Gath, proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon; or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice, the daughters of the uncircumcised will exult.
You mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew or rain upon you, nor bounteous fields! For there the shield of the mighty was defiled, the shield of Saul, anointed with oil no more.
From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan did not turn back, nor the sword of Saul return empty.
Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely! In life and in death they were not divided; they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.
O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you with crimson, in luxury, who put ornaments of gold on your apparel.
How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle! Jonathan lies slain upon your high places.
I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; greatly beloved were you to me; your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.
How the mighty have fallen, and the weapons of war perished!”
Listen to David’s lament. Listen to creation’s lament. Listen to the songs of lament all around. Join the song. Remembering that this formal ending, this death, memory, and mourning, is an end…and also a beginning. And a continuation of the story of our dance with God through the ages.
1:1 After the death of Saul, when David had returned from defeating the Amalekites, David remained two days in Ziklag.
• For our community of faith as we seek to do God’s work in the world.
• For those in our congregation and community who suffer silently with illness, financial burdens, and family obligation.
• For people affected by coronavirus, their families, essential workers, doctors, nurses, aides, those working in nursing homes, etc.
• For victims of wildfires, flooding and earthquakes.
• For Pastor Ivy Gauvin, Bob Pecuch, Alex Daniels, Gene Heil, Karen Johnson, Roy Pihl, George and Janet Balcom, Beverly Klang, Trudy Fetzner, Thom Shagla, Matt Isaacson, Dave Bentley, Alice Swartz, Karen Brown, Dan Burns, Beth Gardner, Barb Mattern, Joseph Gauvin, Emerson Allaby, and Sarah Van Staalduinen. For those serving in the military and law enforcement and their families, including Ben Wickerham and Jeffrey Clauson, those caught up in violence and war who have no safe home in which to live.
• For all children, that the love of Christ may reach them through all of us who have resources to love, protect, pray and provide for them.
• For the ELCZ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe and ELCZa Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia.
Names will remain of the Prayer List for a month - at which
time it will be taken off unless, or course, there is still a continued need
for our prayers and we’re asked to keep the name on.
Update on CDC/ NYS Guidance
The Reopening Committee has put forth the following changes in COVID restrictions indoors:
Vaccinated – no mask required, 6’ social distancing not required, hymnals available
Unvaccinated – masks remain mandatory, social distancing recommended
Also, just a reminder that the Worship and Music Committee is committed to having the Drive In Service through Labor Day - at which time they will access our situation at St. Timothy.
***We continuously collect food items for the 5 & 2 Ministry. Bring your donations and place in the black bin in church narthex. Lists detailing items needed are also available in the narthex. Monetary donations welcome! Contact Gale-Svenson-Campbell for details .
5 & 2 Ministry Food Bins Donated to Date: 92
***ONLINE GIVING now available at St. Timothy for Debit/Credit cards. 3 ways to give:
- Go directly to our website at
- Use our QR code with the QR reader on your smartphone
- Download the app ‘GivePlus Church’. Create an account.
For further information, see Kathy Carlson on Sundays or call her at 485-1316.
While Pastor Ivy is out recuperating, you can contact Pastor Heather Allport-Cohoon if there is a need for pastoral care. She can be reached at 716-708-6466.