Our readings for Sunday seem to be totally unrelated: the choosing of a king, the good shepherd, darkness and light, and a man born blind.
1 Samuel 16:1-13 – King Saul, the first king of Israel, has gone off the reservation (lost his marbles, gone round the bend, or whatever euphemism you want for “going insane”) and God needs a replacement although it will be several years before the replacement actually becomes a king. God sends the prophet Samuel to Bethlehem and to the family of Jesse to anoint the future king. God rejects the first seven sons even though Samuel thinks one of them might be the one (they are tall, handsome, and athletic). The eighth son is out tending Jesse’s sheep and must be summoned. This is the one God wants and Samuel anoints him. His name? David. (He is described as “ruddy”.)
Psalm 23 – Since this is a Psalm of David and David was a shepherd for his father, Jesse, this Psalm is related to the first reading. The only question that crosses my mind when I read the King James Version at funerals is, “Why would I NOT want the good shepherd?”
Ephesians 5:8-14 – With Jesus we now live in the light and we should refrain from doing anything that would be categorized as darkness. Darkness is associated with evil and when evil deeds are brought into the light where we can see it, know it, and discuss it, it cannot survive for long. That is why open meeting laws in Minnesota are often called “Sunshine Laws”; nothing truly bad can happen if everyone can witness the planning and discussion.
John 9:1-41 – This is the entire chapter 9. Are the sins of the parents and grandparent suffered by their children? Does God punish sin into the third and fourth generations? Is someone with a handicap suffering because of their parent’s sin or their own? That is the basic question for all of chapter 9. Jesus’ answers are “No, no, and neither.” We sin because we are caught up in the structures of the world which declare that those not like us are lesser people. Systems and people within those systems who define themselves as opposed to those “others” At the end Jesus tells the Pharisees “If you were blind [or if you were someone whom society rejects and looks down on] you would not have sin [you are not caught up in the systems that need scapegoats]. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains [if you deny that you are a part of the system, and we all are in one way or another, then you won’t admit you need forgiveness].” How often do we who are Caucasian deny that we had or have anything to do with racism, especially in the past? We claim that we don’t need to ask forgiveness for racism. Does not our sin remain? NOTE: There are people who suffer because of the actions (sin?) of their parents. People with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) suffer because their mothers drank, sometimes heavily, during pregnancy.
How does God choose you? How do you live in the light? How blind can we be to our sin?
May God speak to you through the Word this week!