17 September, 2023
Welcome to the beginning of our Narrative Lectionary year. As has been the tradition we will spend some time in the Old Testament until we reach Christmas and then spend time in the gospel of Mark.
For the next couple of months I have chosen to focus a little more on 3 characters from the Old Testament, spend a bit more time in their stories and see what they can tell us.
Our characters will be King David, Elijah-Elisha and First Isaiah. Over the last years we’ve touched on elements of these stories but hopefully this year we’ll go into them with more depth.
So, our first week brings us to the story of David’s anointing. There are a number of themes that are usually pulled out of this reading, God works with the very ordinary, God doesn’t focus on the outer appearance but what is in our hearts, we all need to listen to God and not assume we know what God wants.
Other than Jesus, the Bible says more about the life of David than any other biblical character. A two-sided character if ever there was one, David’s life exemplifies the best and worst of what life looks like when a person does and does not follow God. He is the epitome of God and Samuel’s warning that Israel should not have a king.
Unlike Saul, their current king, who was chosen simply because of his outer appearance, his height and good looks, David was chosen because of his inner self, a heart tuned to God. Even his repentant response to his sins shows him to be a man after God’s own heart. He represents Israel’s/God’s second attempt at a successful monarchy.
In the midst of all his accomplishments and failures, David lived out his call from God, so much so that in Acts 13:22 Paul says of him:
When he had removed him, he made David their king. In his testimony about him he said, ‘ I have found David, son of Jesse, to be a man after my heart, who will carry out all my wishes.’
David answered God’s call. God saw into David’s heart and what God saw was good. The question for us today is: what will God see in your heart? How is God calling you? To what is God calling you? What are you doing about it?