Sunday, October 24

1 Samuel 16:1-3

As our Reflections cover reminds us, a jigsaw piece doesn’t find its place by itself. Patient people move it around and keep referring to the box top. Border edges give direction. Emerging shapes and shades bring clarity. When its fit is finally found, other pieces find theirs. The big picture requires more than one puzzle piece.

While “God Calls David” is this week’s theme, most of the story focuses on Samuel. He is part of David’s call, as instrumental to it as Eli was to his own. 

When the story starts, Samuel is broken-hearted. As he grieves that King Saul has rejected God, and vice versa, God moves ahead and chooses someone to take Saul’s place. But God waits until the reluctant priest is ready to start the search process, letting him take his time before finally asking, “How long will you grieve over Saul?” (v. 1). When Samuel confesses his fears, God instructs him how to move forward. God does not provide all of the details at once, not even the name of the chosen king he must find. But before the process is over, a village will help the priest locate the one he is looking to anoint.

Most calling stories involve a cast of characters: the teacher who points out a strength; the listener who hears the dream then asks wise questions; the encourager who counsels “follow your heart.”

Churches that bless and nurture the gifts within their congregations do more than empower new avenues of ministry. They fulfill their own dynamic purpose.

Consider

How do you identify and encourage the gifts of others?

Pray

God, help us put fears, insecurities, and disappointments aside to be part of the work you envision. Make us people who find our place by living out your purpose and helping others find theirs. Amen.

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