Grief comes in many forms: grief at the death of a loved one or respected leader; grief as we watch illness rob someone of precious abilities; grief as we discover that we will never reach a cherished personal goal or grief when someone for whom we had high hopes disappoints us, to name just a few.
In this passage we hear of Samuel’s grief at the failure of the first king of Israel, Saul, to fulfill the nations hopes and dreams. Samuel had come to love this fallible man, in spite of his original protests against anointing a king for Israel, as he knew God as king. Now God calls Samuel to swallow a bitter pill – to forget his grief over Saul’s failure and get up and anoint David as the new king. David would come to be known as the ideal king, from whose line the promised Messiah would come. Out of Saul’s failure a new and better leader arose, although David too made some serious mistakes. No one is perfect.
Here we are challenged to leave behind disappointments and move into God’s ever new future. We can always start afresh. There are always new possibilities. We can discover new friends to join us on the way.
What old griefs may be holding us back from the fullness of life and love offered in Jesus Christ? This Lent are we being called to acknowledge them, then leave them behind?
Rev Rosalind Terry