Scripture: 1 Samuel 16:7 and Matthew 25:31-40
David and Goliath.
Part of Christ’s lineage.
One of the most recognizable people in the Old Testament…and it all starts in 1 Samuel 16. The time of Saul’s rule as king was almost over and God sent Samuel to the house of Jesse to anoint the new king. And when Samuel arrives, he asks Jesse to bring forward all of his sons, from whom the new king would be chosen. Samuel looks at Eliab and immediate says, this must be the Lord’s chosen. Now, it doesn’t describe Elaib in detail, but we can imagine what Samuel might have seen in him. What do we think a powerful kingly person looks like?
And God tells Samuel the powerful words, ”Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature…the Lord does not see as mortal see; they look on the onward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” And then Samuel proceeds to guess wrong with every single other of David’s brothers until he finally asks Jesse, do you have anymore sons? And Jesse says yeah, the youngest, he’s out tending sheep. Not even a contender in his own father’s eyes. But whom does God choose? David. David the youngest brother, the shepherd, who defeats Goliath and would become King.
God does not look on outward appearance, God looks on the heart.
Over and over again in scripture, God chooses some of the most unlikely people to work though. David. Moses who protested, did not want God to use him, and probably had a stutter. Abraham and Sarah who were far advanced in age and God made them the parents of nations upon nations and their descendants rivaled the stars in the sky. And Jesus, born in a feeding trough, in the middle of an occupied territory, and grew up in a flyover town that nothing good was supposed to come from.
You know, I love a good superhero comic or movie. People from another planet like superman, people from earth with naturally or genetically enhanced super strength, super speed, who can move things with their mind and run circles around the world. I love both Marvel and DC and have gone to plenty of midnight movie showings, but when I think of the people who have made the most difference in my life, when I think of the people who have changed my life, when I think of people who have been like superheroes to me, they are more like David and less like Thor. Regular people, teachers, pastors, teachers, farmers, friends. When I think of my friend’s lives their stories are similar. The people who made the most difference? Nurses, social workers, a parent, a cousin. You never know when the best superhero in the world might just be, you. In comics and movies, superheroes do crazy humanly impossible things. But everyday heroes, they do things like Christ describes in Matthew 25. Welcoming strangers, sharing clothing, caring for the sick, visiting people in prison, sharing their food, giving the thirsty something to drink. Recognizing that we are all made in God’s image and deserve to be treated with care and dignity. Heroism isn’t about strength, muscles, or speed. It is about your heart, how you treat other people, it is about character. You can make a world of different for someone, no matter your age, no matter your height, no matter how small the act. You could be the smallest girl in the smallest grade and with one simple act you could change your entire school and even your town.
Rev. Stefanie Hayes