The lectionary has given us so many good passages for this coming weekend, that I am taking advantage of both blogs and my sermon to cover three of the four. For more information on Psalm 23, check out www.evenbefore.blog!
Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these. Are all of your sons here?” And Jesse said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep…”1 Samuel 16:10-11
Our Old Testament reading for this coming Sunday is something out of a fairy tale.
Though God’s prophet Samuel arrives without a glass slipper, we can still hear the much more familiar (to us) story of Cinderella playing through this scene. It is none of the brothers first shown – it is the one who is living in the next to lowest class of society, the shepherds, who is the chosen one.
Throughout the season of Lent, we have been exploring the ancient forefathers that come throughout the Hebrew texts. By this weekend, week IV, we have come past the patriarchs of Genesis, through Moses, and to the ancient Kings of Israel.
Remember that the people demanded of God a king to lead them on earth. Unfortunately, the first anointed king, Saul, did not live into his calling. Anointed by the prophet Samuel, Saul was too power hungry to follow in God’s ways.
So God choose the least likely suspect to replace him – a shepherd boy. It is always said that David was near to God’s heart. And this is likely why: our God is the great Shepherd. Who better to understand the task of kingship than one who is willing to live among the sheep.
Now, in reality, we all know that David was far from perfect. And yet, he still kept trying. Proving that what God desires from us is not perfection, but our willingness to try and try again to be faithful. We may fail. Yet God rejoices when sinners return to the flock.
Since we all have a bit of extra time on our hands right now, consider re-reading the story of Saul and David in the book of 1 Samuel. It is a lively tale that looks like an ancient soap-opera.
But whatever you do, in word or deed, out in the world or residing in your own living room for the time-being, remember that God has called you to try and follow where God leads. God always leads us to love – whatever that might look like. Even if you fail, try and try again. No matter what, God will always be waiting with open arms to welcome you home.
Blessings, Pastor Janie