(1) Select the Text: 2 Samuel 6, 12-23; I selected this text as I thought it would hold a good message for my home congregation.
(2) Reconsider the limits of the pericope: I consider this pericope to be a logical part of the whole.
(3) Establish a reliable translation of the text: I will be using the NRSV as I found it to be clear and concise.
(4) Read the Text Aloud: Just prior to this text David seems conflicted. He is mad at God for killing Uzzah and he is no longer sure it is wise for him to have the ark of God under his care. In this passage however, David is rejoicing at the possibility of bringing the ark to Jerusalem since God has apparently blessed Obed-Edom. It seems David is taking care that things are done properly even down to the detail this time. He isn’t quite as fixed on the end goal of just getting the ark to Jerusalem by the most efficient means available, but he is focused on the process. Michal’s words of criticism seem even harsher in the midst of everyone else in the story as they rejoice and shout and even dance before the Lord. The provision that flows to the general populous of Jerusalem even just after the ark has arrived seems significant since the ark represents God’s presence among the people. The spat that erupts even before David has his home seems in direct contrast to the favor and provision of the Lord.
(5) Consider the text within its larger canonical context: In the chapter just before this text, David is anointed king of all Israel and Jerusalem is made the capital city of the united kingdom. The conquests of David start off right away with a defeat of the Philistines with the help of the Lord.
(6) Listen to the text on behalf of the various listeners represented in your congregation:
a. For those who have faced significant hardship in their life, this passage could be hard to hear and receive. Maybe they have found themselves in a similar situation because their past has been bitter.
b. I think this might be difficult to hear for those women who are unable to have children. It seems Michal’s inability to have children is directly linked to this exchange between David and her. This could also extend to those women who have had miscarriages.
c. Would those who have been raised in the Presbyterian Church or another denomination with more reserved worship traditions even be able to fathom such flamboyant worship?
(7) Consult the commentaries for insight into the structure and origins of the text:
a. Since the ark of God is mentioned only once since 1 Samuel 4, there are some who think 2 Samuel 6 may have “originally been part of a longer narrative that began in 1 Samuel 4.”
b. This event is also recorded in 1 Chronicles 13, 15-16 in much greater detail. This speaks to the importance of the event as it is linked to the centralization of Israel.
(8) Explore the text literally (i.e., what genre is it and how does that affect interpretation?) This passage is a narrative. As such, many of the claims of the text are woven into the plot, characters, and even the location of the narrative. While all of Scripture is contextual, narrative is even more so because the claims are woven into the text.
(9) Explore the text historically (i.e., how has this pericope been understood in the past? What is the history of its development as well as the history of its use?)
(10)What are the theological concerns and claims of the text?
a. According to Bruggeman, “the elaborate ritual of chapter 6 is to bind together in a visible way the old ritual claims and the new ideological venture of monarchy.” This is significant since “we may conclude that David did his work well” as seen in the legacy of Solomon’s temple. Bruggeman goes on to say that “Solomon could claim so much for the temple because David had so well established the legitimacy of Jerusalem.”
b. The way in which we worship God and the way in which we respond to the way others worship God is important.
(11)State the claims of the text upon the listener in simple, declarative sentences.
a. We have a choice in how we respond to the way others live their lives.
b. Live your life in such a way that it is worship to God.
c. Sometimes we have to accept things even if we don’t like them.
(12)Focus Statement: Sometimes cultural conventions get in the way of serving God.
(13)Function Statement: To challenge the hearers to question if the degree to which we have embraced societal norms stands in the way of worshiping God.
 Ronald F. Youngblood, 1 & 2 Samuel, ed. Frank E. Gæbelein, 12 vols., The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, vol. 3 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992), 867.
 Ibid., 867.
 Walter Bruggeman, “1 & 2 Samuel,” in The Interpretation Commentary, ed. John Mays (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1990). As I am using the CD-ROM version, there are no page numbers.