Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Of Seeds and Young Sheperds and New Things Growing

This week's scriptures are I Samuel 15:34-16:13 and Mark 4:26-34.

We read the story from I Samuel looking back through thousands of years worth of positive thinking about David. David the Great Poet. David Slayer of Goliath. David King of Israel. But if we look at him in this story through the eyes of his father and brothers, we might get a different view.

Scripture is kind and says that the boy David was "handsome with ruddy cheeks and bright eyes" when Samuel first saw him. But remember, Jesse had paraded all his sons in front of Samuel...except for David. When asked if he had other sons, Jesse's reply had been a sort of, 'well yeah, there's David, but he's out with the sheep, don't worry bout him.'

If you had walked into Jesse's home and said, "your son, David, will be King" the answer would most likely have been "you've got to be kidding." David's family would have probably had trouble seeing their youngest son, or their little brother as the next King of Israel.

Jesus' comments about the Kingdom being like a seed growing...unseen and unnoticed...may speak to some of this. So much of what God is doing happens 'underground'...away from the expectations that we may have developed about the very people that God may be using to bring in the Kingdom.

At this time of graduation from high school or college can we look at our graduates with new eyes and perhaps see them as people God will use to bring in the Kingdom? Or will we, like Jesse, make the mistake of not seeing them as possible candidates for that role?

More that this, can we believe that the Kingdom is growing even when we can't see it? Can we trust that even in times of turmoil equal to the radical change Samuel was seeing with the replacing of King Saul with the newly annointed David God is on the move? When the Holocaust Museum is a sight for a terrorist attack and doctors are murdered by abortion we still trust that the Kingdom is growing?

God's word to Samuel and Jesus' parable of seeds all call us to trust that God is moving. The power of God is lose in the world...sometimes in people and places where we have difficulty seeing it. Living in trust and belief that the seeds of the Kingdom are growing 'under our feet' is one of the great challenges of our faith. Another is to believe that we, and those we know, may well be the very seeds that God has planted.

Hope to see you Sunday.

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

Wonderful and useful ideas! Hmm...

The part about not "knowing" for sure that our seeds will bear fruit, or getting to say who does what in the larger spiritual scheme of things goes against pretty much all parts of Western practical life (lack of patience, result-based evalutions). Sometimes, we seem to be fine with taking seemingly absurd things on faith - banking systems, dark matter (well, most of quantum physics), food production. But ask us to have faith in things just as intangible at times (say, God moving in the world) or for patience (for evaluations, results, etc.) and we breakdown.

It reminds of a common theme I'm seeing about control these days. Part of a realization that we have very limited control over the big picture (or even the 4x6 picture). At most, we have the wallet sized control, and even that is misplaced half the time.

Ah, forgive my half-intelligible ramblings...

I'll be interested to hear what you have to share with us on this, Stephen.