Preparedness and Anointing 012111
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Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO
www.peacemennonitechurch.net (under construction)
Meditation and thoughts follow the scripture.
1 Samuel 15:34—16:13
Triumphant Song of Confidence
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold* of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When evildoers assail me
to devour my flesh—
my adversaries and foes—
they shall stumble and fall.
3 Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war rise up against me,
yet I will be confident.
4 One thing I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
and to inquire in his temple.
5 For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will set me high on a rock.
6 Now my head is lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
1 Samuel 15:34—16:13
34 Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house in Gibeah of Saul. 35Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel grieved over Saul. And the Lord was sorry that he had made Saul king over Israel.
Samuel Anoints David
16The Lord said to Samuel, ‘How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.’ 2Samuel said, ‘How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.’ And the Lord said, ‘Take a heifer with you, and say, “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.” 3Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.’ 4Samuel did what the Lord commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, ‘Do you come peaceably?’ 5He said, ‘Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.’ And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
6 When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.’* 7But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.’ 8Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, ‘Neither has the Lord chosen this one.’ 9Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, ‘Neither has the Lord chosen this one.’ 10Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, ‘The Lord has not chosen any of these.’ 11Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Are all your sons here?’ And he said, ‘There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.’ And Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.’ 12He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The Lord said, ‘Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.’ 13Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.
Jesus Calls Levi
27 After this he went out and saw a tax-collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ 28And he got up, left everything, and followed him.
29 Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house; and there was a large crowd of tax-collectors and others sitting at the table* with them. 30The Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to his disciples, saying, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax-collectors and sinners?’ 31Jesus answered, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; 32I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.’
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Preparedness and Anointing 012111
Today’s scriptures, at least 1 Samuel and Luke, are about anointing—receiving the call and the ‘touch’, to be a disciple, and to follow Jesus and God.
I woke in the early morning dark this morning, and laid in bed thinking about preparedness. I need to start wood fires in the wood heaters, or add wood to last evenings’ fires, make coffee, and begin the long slow process of putting on half of one’s closet of clothes, to go out and take care of the chickens, ducks, geese, dogs and wild birds.
I don’t mind the cold, and the deep snow and the work. What bothers me is that it takes 15 minutes to put on long underwear, regular clothes, then snow overalls, heavy boots, a ski mask, a sock cap, a heavy coat and thick insulated gloves. By the time I’m dressed, I’m tired.
I miss the summer joy of just slipping on sandals and going out in a pair of scruffy old shorts and a t-shirt that has seen better days. And maybe a hat. Ah, the warmth!
But, as much as we might like it otherwise, becoming reconciled to God again takes a little preparedness. God makes it easy for us, however, but not automatic.
Our preparedness to reconcile to God amounts first to having just the smallest amount of faith. It seems to be a basic premise of humankind’s relationship to God, that force is not involved. God, I think, does not threaten us into belief, or bribe us with rewards for believing.
So, the first step back to God is always ours. That first step, I recommend, is PRAYER. I have sometimes said that three times a day is a really good start, since 5 times a day is required of some worldwide religions, but even once a day is great, or once a week even. You pick the frequency, but just pray!
Some have said that prayer is just like Buddhist meditation, but I do not agree completely. In prayer there is a me, and God does not ask me to erase or obliterate that ‘me’. This is good since this ‘me’ is the only reality I know (smile).
Also, in prayer, there is a God who is a person and who is personable with me. Our God is a welcoming God indeed.
So, get down on your knees and pray. Just talk to God, and God will anoint you with his grace. This is not complex, but it is not easy, and you and I each have all the excuses in the world why we are not talking with God. But pray anyway. Just talk to God!
Tomorrow’s sermon at opensimplechurch.wordpress.com will be a lenghthy one, and I’m also posting a ‘do-it-yourself’ church service, for you and yours to use in worship. Stay home and stay home and let our community know if you are hurting or are in need.