Today's Lectionary Text
1 Samuel 10:1-8Samuel took a vial of oil and poured it on his head, and kissed him; he said, “The Lord has anointed you ruler over his people Israel. You shall reign over the people of the Lord and you will save them from the hand of their enemies all around. Now this shall be the sign to you that the Lord has anointed you ruler[a] over his heritage: When you depart from me today you will meet two men by Rachel’s tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah; they will say to you, ‘The donkeys that you went to seek are found, and now your father has stopped worrying about them and is worrying about you, saying: What shall I do about my son?’ Then you shall go on from there further and come to the oak of Tabor; three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you there, one carrying three kids, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a skin of wine. They will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you shall accept from them. After that you shall come to Gibeath-elohim,[b] at the place where the Philistine garrison is; there, as you come to the town, you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the shrine with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyre playing in front of them; they will be in a prophetic frenzy. Then the spirit of the Lord will possess you, and you will be in a prophetic frenzy along with them and be turned into a different person. Now when these signs meet you, do whatever you see fit to do, for God is with you. And you shall go down to Gilgal ahead of me; then I will come down to you to present burnt offerings and offer sacrifices of well-being. Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do.”
As part of the ancient tradition, Samuel anoints David by placing oil on his head, proclaiming to all David is fit to be king. At this time too, being anointed implied a closeness to God. Kings, like priests, were anointed because they were chosen by the divine.
Now, I don’t think we necessarily need to pick our legislative leaders through anointing, but I will say each of us as God’s children have been anointed. God has placed the divine oil of love on each of us. God has shown we are claimed and belong to God. Yet, this love is not one of uniformity, instead God says, “Do whatever you see fit to do, for God is with you.”
Each of us can proclaim our faith in different ways. This is why we have so many different forms of worship services. We interpret scripture differently and none of us make sense of God in exactly the same way.
Our churches work with various non-profits and charities to combat a vast variety of issues from hunger to climate change. I mean even in our United Methodist churches there are many different viewpoints and ways of “being the church.”
However, what is most important and what we cannot lose sight of, is how our anointing, being marked by God, is solely out of God’s love for us. God loves us so much; God wants us to live in the world with the same love and compassion. Our actions should never be one of malice, but they should be ones guided by love, righteousness, and healing. God has anointed us with the oil of love. So, my friends, how will you live out this love?
First United Methodist Omaha
Prayer for Reflection
Loving God, you anoint each one of us with your divine love. You claim us as your worthy children. May we find ways to ensure our actions match your gracious love. Together we pray. Amen.
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