Grace and peace to you, from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. This morning we will celebrate, with Adelina, Hannah, Scarlett, Sydney, Valerie, and Winston, their First Communion.
They have learned about God's love for all people, and have heard the story of Jesus’s life death and Resurrection. And now, these children will join the congregation in remembering Jesus’s love and forgiveness for all people, through participating in Communion.
In our Scripture reading today, we hear about a boy named David. But first, we need to fill in the gap between last week’s reading and the one we have this week. Last week, we heard the story of Samuel. Samuel was a young boy living in the temple, serving Eli, when God called him to become a priest and a prophet. In today’s reading, Samuel is all grown up. He had taken over Eli’s job and become a trusted Prophet of the Lord. But, in the meantime, Samuel has also anointed Saul, King of Israel, at God's command. Saul was a great warrior, and he defeated Israel’s enemies. But Saul did not follow God's commands. So God told Samuel to anoint a new king. But the problem is… Saul was still king! And Samuel is afraid that Saul will find out that he is anointing someone else as king and punish him. But God protects Samuel.
And that’s where we pick up with today’s reading. Samuel is told to go to a man named Jesse in Bethlehem, because one of his many sons will be the new king. When Samuel sees the first son, he is handsome and tall and strong. Samuel assumes that God will choose him, but God is looking for more than just another warrior. Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I am (not choosing him); for the Lord does not see as (people) see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” So Jesse parades his other six sons past Samuel. But God doesn’t choose any of them. So, Samuel asks Jesse if he has any other sons, Finally, Jesse says, “Yes, there is one more, but he is just a boy. He is out in the fields herding our sheep.” Samuel insists that little David is brought out. And, of course, God chooses David. And when he grows up, he does become King over Israel.
I think this story is telling us that God loves everyone, and that everyone has a job to do as part of God's kingdom. Even children like Samuel and David were called by God. Now David was not perfect. He made lots of mistakes in his life. But, just like you learned in Sunday school, God loves all people and God is always calling us to repent. And that is what David did.
When we come to this Table, we remember that Jesus has promised that here we will be fed and loved and forgiven. And we will also be sent out into the world to share God’s love with other people. So how do we share God’s love? What can WE do to help everyone know about God’s love and forgiveness? Do we all need to become prophets, like Samuel? Can we all become kings and queens? Probably not. But there are lots of things we can do.
Jesus once said that the two most important things in life are to: 1) Love God with all our hearts and minds and strength; and 2) Love our neighbors as ourselves. That means that because we love God and we know that God forgives mistakes, we can show that love to all people. By helping someone who needs help. Being kind to people even if they are not nice to us. Standing up for someone who is being bullied, or left out, or made fun of. Those are some of the things anyone can do to share God’s love. Even you guys can do those things. You don’t have to wait to do good things that show God’s love. I am so happy that you are being welcomed at Communion this morning. So I’m going to stop talking now, so we can continue the service. Amen.