Tuesday, March 25, 2014

1 Samuel 16:1-13

Year A - Fourth Sunday in Lent or Conviction [4]
March 30, 2014

How to make distinctions is a part of the game of survival. This is like me or likes me—I am delighted and draw near. This is not like me or doesn’t like me—I am fearful and flee or fight.

Eventually we have to recognize that our ability to recognize only goes so far—a book cover or first impression. It give gross information but is not fine enough to really sift out what is going on. Experience can get fooled by a pretty face, a complement, and familiarity. The complete Shakespeare corpus is daunting and illumining. Our heart’s desire fails to remember our same heart’s demands.

It is easy to divide things into male and female. We don’t like to be confused by those born without identifiable genitalia and their acculturation as boy or girl. It is easy to divide both males and females into our extant class/tribal/racial categories. We don’t like to be confused by those who do not fit easily into their class (Giovanni/Francesco di Pietro di Bernardone) or are bi/multi-racial. In today’s world we get further confused as each gender can claim one or more orientations of affection. The finer the distinctions get, the more anxious we tend to become.

And yet it is possible to work our way through whatever easy characterizations we have of one another to see the gifts below the surface that will benefit all when given an opportunity to be nurtured and implemented. Who ever heard of such a thing as a Black Astrophysicist and now we are relearning the wonder of the cosmos. Even a decade ago, could you have considered the election of a Lesbian to a seat of power in the overwhelmingly white, rich, male environment of the House of Representatives? Absent David; how would he even be on the long list of potential anointees?

This story tends to leave us with an impression that only G*D can make fine distinctions about the gifts of the heart. Remember all of David’s life and his failings and how G*D is reported to have stuck by this choice. The learning here is to dive deep into lives to find a larger story in a smaller setting. A practice of looking on hearts regardless of observable gender/class/tribe/race/orientation/etc. and honoring a preferred identity does pay off to increase our ability to live peaceably together (an eternal Bethlehemic desire).


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