These readings explore love and power, human and divine and, demonstrate how love and power can be a terrible combination on this side of heaven. Along the way, Ahinoam, Merab and Michal, a mother and her daughters are named. The daughters will have parts to play dictated by the men in their lives. The mother’s naming foreshadows the long tradition of the Judean Queen Mother. Saul is uncomfortably familiar, a man using his power to achieve his political ends on the back of a woman including by putting her on her back. In spite of the way her father and husband use her, Michal finds love, a doomed love. Marriage in the scriptures is not romantic though there are persons who are said to truly love their spouse, (all men with the exception of Michal).
The psalm offers a traditional model of love and devotion to and for God. But the epistle and gospel demand evidence of that love in how we treat each other: There is no love of God without love of neighbor. Combined with the first lesson these readings call the Church to account for the ways in which the treatment of women and girls and femme men and non-binary and trans persons fails to demonstrate the love of God professed in lyrics and liturgy.
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