Dang ya'll look at you go the big eight zero. Think about it, you've been reading the Bible every day for the last 80 days! I bet you can't imagine what it's like to not read the bible each day anymore. That's a pretty neat feeling. Today we officially meet the first King! Do you know who that is already? If not, no biggie - let's find out!
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
What does this teach me about God?
What does this teach me about humanity?
What do I think of Saul's leadership so far? Good king? Bad King?
How does Saul compare to when God was "king" of the people before hand?
- My Thoughts -
Like I've been saying the past few days I really enjoyed this reading. I find 1 Samuel to read like any other novel with just as much depth to it's characters as many novels. I loved how Saul meets Samuel and Samuel just mystifies him by basically reading his mind. I audibly chuckled reading it. It must have been a fun story to tell around the campfire I imagine. I also find Saul to be a really relatable character at first. When they can't find him after casting sacred lots for the king and they discovered him hiding I was moved by that. Called to an enormous task he was overwhelmed by it and wanted to run away. Saul also seems very genuine, someone that is really trying to do everything right for people even if he doesn't exactly know how to do that best.
But my favorite part of Saul and his relationship with God comes in at 11:6 when it says "the spirit of God came upon Saul and he became very angry." I think we often attribute God to only peace, and calm, and happy thoughts, and puppies and sunshine. Rarely do we recognize our anger as being a expression of faith as well. But it is. We should be angry when we see injustice like Saul was seeing from that other king taunting to kill innocents in the name of power. We should be angry when we see massive wealth inequality, or bullying, or suppression of voices that go against the grain. We should be angry when our children are hurting, or when someone we love is dying. We should be angry when the world looks like the antithesis to the kingdom of God. Anger is not evidence that God is not with you - controlled anger as a catalyst for change is not just Biblical, it's an attribute of God that we see time and time again.
When I was in South Africa and visisted the Cape Town Central Methodist Church for a service Rev. Alan Storey concluded the service not with a traditional blessing of "go in peace" but shocked me (in a good way) when he said "Go in anger. Anger to make peace a possibility. Until there is peace for all, there is not peace for you. Go in anger."
This is one of my favorite prayers because it is so challenging and is so against the common prayer. It comes from the Order of St. Francis
May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships, so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.
May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace among all people.
May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.
May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really CAN make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.
And the blessing of God the Supreme Majesty and our Creator, Jesus Christ the Incarnate Word who is our brother and Saviour, and the Holy Spirit, our Advocate and Guide, be with you and remain with you, this day and forevermore.