Books and covers
1 Samuel 16: 1-13 (NRSVA)
1 The Lord said to Samuel, ‘How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.’ 2 Samuel said, ‘How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.’ And the Lord said, ‘Take a heifer with you, and say, “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.” 3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.’ 4 Samuel did what the Lord commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, ‘Do you come peaceably?’ 5 He said, ‘Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.’ And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
6 When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.’ 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.’ 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, ‘Neither has the Lord chosen this one.’ 9 Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, ‘Neither has the Lord chosen this one.’ 10 Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, ‘The Lord has not chosen any of these.’ 11 Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Are all your sons here?’ And he said, ‘There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.’ And Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.’ 12 He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The Lord said, ‘Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.’ 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.
‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ we are told,
Or ‘clothes maketh the man’
Wouldn’t it be great if someone didn’t look at me and make up their mind about me?
Instantly label me? Decide all that they want to know about me, or don’t want to know about me on my first appearance?
Wouldn’t it be great?
Wouldn’t if be great if it didn’t matter — really didn’t matter — what my voice sounds like, what accent I have or the colour of my skin, what language I speak?
Wouldn’t it be great not to be treated with suspicion because I’m new, or unknown?
Wouldn’t it be great if everyone saw me as God sees me?
Saw past the outward appearance, saw past the clothes and the hair and the skin and saw what lies beneath?
Saw my heart?
Wouldn’t it be great if that was how I was judged?
By the love and potential that lies within me…
For then I would be recognised and accepted for who I fully am... and welcomed...
With arms opened wide as voices cry out “It’s you!”
And then... well then, I’d feel that I belong!
Give us eyes to see as you do,
Enable us as we look at others to see past the outward wrappings,
To see past folk’s sometimes hard outer shells, to the soft centres underneath,
And to the gift which lies within…
The Transforming Community: Every day this week read Hebrews 10: 24-25. After reading those two verses consider what you can do today to spur on others to love and goodness. In these times consider how we can use digital technology to ‘meet’ with people in new ways instead of seeing them in person.