The Lord said to Samuel, ‘Fill your horn with oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I have chosen myself a king among his sons.’
When Samuel arrived, he caught sight of Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed stands there before him,’ but the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Take no notice of his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him: God does not see as man sees: man looks at appearances but the Lord looks at the heart.’ Jesse presented his seven sons to Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, ‘The Lord has not chosen these.’
He then asked Jesse, ‘Are these all the sons you have?’ He answered, ‘There is still one left, the youngest; he is out looking after the sheep.’ Then Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Send for him; we will not sit down to eat until he comes.’ Jesse had him sent for, a boy of fresh complexion, with fine eyes and pleasant bearing. The Lord said, ‘Come, anoint him, for this is the one.’
At this, Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him where he stood with his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord seized on David and stayed with him from that day on.
1 Samuel 16:1,6-7,10-13
The First reading at Mass today draws us into the narrative of monarchy in Israel.
That narrative depcits Israel as rejecting at least something of the kingship of God in choosing to have a king such as the nations have. It leads to the collapse of the community brought from Egypt, and to exile in Babylon. When Israel returns from Babylon it is a chastened community.
But in this passage we are presented with a new start, and with hope…
- How do you seek to ensure that your new starts have firm foundations?
Stained Glass. All Saints, Leamington Spa. (c) 2016, Allen Morris.