Fourth Sunday in Lent – Not Always the Best

“I read the news today. Oh boy!” This line is from the Beatles song “A Day in the Life” released in 1967. Little did I imagine then that reading the news today, I would be saying the same thing. “Oh boy!” Bombings in Syria and Mosul with civilians as collateral damage, a health care proposal which would adversely affect 24 million Americans but give tax breaks to the wealthy, a budget that would boost military spending and leave little for the masses and a beautiful wall would be built under the guise that some one else would pay for it, all of these (and more) contribute to the almost daily “Oh, boy!” response. Every day there seems to be that same anthem. What can we do to change the depressing pitch of “Oh, boy!”  to an “Oh, boy!” with a hopeful tinge to it? Look to our leaders. Look whom we have elected to take care of our Republic and it’s citizens. Is this the best we can come up with? Probably not. We elected a bombastic out of touch reality game show host to lead us. Maybe his resume (that we bought into) was all a con. When Samuel rejected Saul as king of Israel, he went to took for a replacement, someone who had the country’s good at heart. Saul was a military leader and seemed to fit the job description of “king needed” in the help wanted section of the Jerusalem Times. What looked good on paper  didn’t turn out  to be so good in reality. He was narcissistic, prone to mood swings and worst of all, had lost sight of what it meant to be a leader in  “making Israel great again.” In brief, he was a disaster.

It was time to look for a new king.

Samuel went to Bethlehem to look for a new king and to the home of Jesse who had a bunch of handsome strong sons, any one of whom could have been a poster child for “king.” Sam didn’t choose any of Jesse’s hunks, instead asked “do you have any more?” Jesse says, yes, there is one more the youngest son who’s out taking care of the sheep.

10 Jesse thus presented seven of his sons to Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Yahweh has not chosen these.’

11 He then asked Jesse, ‘Are these all the sons you have?’ Jesse replied, ‘There is still one left, the youngest; he is looking after the sheep.’ Samuel then said to Jesse, ‘Send for him, for we shall not sit down to eat until he arrives.’

12 Jesse had him sent for; he had ruddy cheeks, with fine eyes and an attractive appearance. Yahweh said, ‘Get up and anoint him: he is the one!’ (First Samuel 16:10-12)

So the youngest and presumably the least likely to succeed turned out to be “the one.” David had his faults, but he acknowledged them. He asked for forgiveness when he messed up and became stronger with his humility. Eventually he would become the greatest king in Israel’s history. Who could have known?

25 The man answered, ‘Whether he is a sinner I don’t know; all I know is that I was blind and now I can see.’

26 They said to him, ‘What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?’

27 He replied, ‘I have told you once and you wouldn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it all again? Do you want to become his disciples yourselves?’

28 At this they hurled abuse at him, ‘It is you who are his disciple, we are disciples of Moses: (John 9:25-28)

In this second story the man born blind is cured by an itinerant preacher who had no credentials and by all accounts, just not rabbi material. The guys in charge treated the man like he was the product of sin. The man just shrugs his shoulders and tells the religious leaders that he doesn’t know about all that. He was blind and now he can see. That’s that. So I guess the take away is sometimes the guy who looks like he should be a leader really isn’t. And the guy who’s usually chosen last for a kickball team may turn out to have the right stuff. You never know. A change for the good is in the wind. Remove and replace.

...and so it goes

A little song, a little dance, a little coffee down your pants... 40 years in the high school classroom and now on my own. A chance to think about stuff and how it affects everyone, not just me. Now residing in Oregon volunteering for a refugee organization.

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