“Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, ‘The Lord has not chosen any of these.’ 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.’ 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.’” I Samuel 16:10-12 NRSV
Okay, so here in the midst of the Christmas story, I have us skip back into the Old Testament to a story about Samuel in which David is introduced. We know who David will become – the greatest King of Israel and the man after God’s own heart. Yet, here is Samuel, looking to anoint the next king that God has chosen and where is this royal person? He is in the fields looking after the sheep! Yep, the most famous and best loved king of God’s own people enters the story out in the fields keeping watch over his father’s sheep. He wasn’t even called in to the big sacrifice and feast. He was being treated as a hired hand, definitely not only the youngest but the least of Jesse’s sons.
Not only does this place in our minds the connection between Jesus, David, and the shepherds, it also reminds us that often the ones who seem to be left out of the big event are the exact ones that God calls to do extraordinary things. We might be overlooking those about whom God is saying: “This is the one!”
God, give us new eyes to see. May we not overlook those persons that you call to be your people. Open our hearts to your will and way. Amen.
Copyright 2008 Amelia G. Sims