Reading: 1 Samuel 16:1-13
The anointing of David is a very strange account indeed. It contains hints about religious practices that are odd to us. It is the first lectionary reading for this Sunday’s worship.
Samuel is sent to Bethlehem to anoint one of the sons of Jesse, “the one whom I name to you.” Then comes a parade of seven of Jesse’s sons—all rejected. The eighth and youngest son is not even present. “He is keeping the sheep.” He is summoned and chosen. David is anointed king.
How does God choose? “The Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
What can we carry with us from this story? One thing can be to be very mindful about how we judge a person. Sometimes we are attracted to those who are obviously noticeable. Perhaps because of their power, prestige, wealth, good looks, the way they carry themselves, the way they dress or maybe even because of their family name. And perhaps the person with one or more of those obvious characteristics deserves our attention and in the end our “vote.” But sometimes it is the one who makes little splash whom we should honor with our attention. The one who quietly but effectively brings needed knowledge, skills or experience to the table. We need to look inward before we make our judgments. It takes time to experience the depth of a person. We need to resist making our judgment on the basis of outward appearance whether it is dazzling or quietly simple. --Jim Bricker, Chaplain to Camp Mount Luther’s Summer Staff
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