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Blind (2018-0624)

. 3 min read

23-24
June 2018, Christ Mountain Top, VBS Sunday
Praying
the Psalm, Psalm 36.5-10
Children,
Mark 10.46-52
Message,
1 Samuel 16.1-13
      What we don’t see …
Perception,
so often shaped by things other than our senses
·      
How
often we can’t find things that are right in front of us?
·      
How
often do we assume we’re a good judge of character only to be totally wrong?
Wordplay around
“see/sight/vision/look” in the Samuel story:
      Described as a “seer” (prophet) but NEVER has a vision
      Mentor was Eli, a priest whose eyesight was dimming
      Era in which “visions were not widespread”
      Calling not with a vision but an “audition” – hearing his name
No wonder, in this special
assignment, that Samuel can’t “see straight”: 1 Samuel 16:7  the LORD does not see as mortals see; they
look on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.
Fail
to see the future because we are focused on the past
      how long will you mope for Saul? 
      Eliab – described in the same terms as Saul was
            but God isn’t looking for the same kind of man
      So often, in our regrets, we repeat the same mistake
God’s regrets!
1 Samuel 15:35  the LORD was sorry that he had made Saul king
over Israel.
Despite God’s regret, God
is not stuck in the past. God chooses to act to create a new future.
You can’t move forward if
you spend all your time looking in the rearview mirror.
It is always easier to see into the past than into the
future; that is why it is often more comfortable to remain in the past, with
all its problems, than to join God in forming the future.  God’s sight is different than ours.
Fail
to see the person because we are focused on the appearance
Samuel
re David’s brothers and the kingly look of Saul’s height
God’s rebuke: the LORD does
not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks
on the heart.
Judging by external
features is inadequate and untrustworthy
      “Color of our skin” versus “content of our character” (MLK Jr.)
      Various cultural stigmas – mental illness, HIV positive status,
immigrant status, sexuality – can we welcome people as people, rather than as
labels?
      First impressions are powerful, and not always accurate
  
Learning
to see by learning to hear
Hebrew: hear/obey
Kids to parents, “I hear
you”
Shema
Psalm 119:105  Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to
my path. (sound-sight)
Samuel told Saul, “Because you have rejected the word
of the LORD, God has rejected you as king” (15.23).
Samuel had learned to
listen to God. Saul had not. David did. One of the key aspects of this is the
internal correction, the clarity of who we are and where we fail. We’ve all got
blind spots, some of them pretty huge. Remaining ignorant of them sets us up
for serious failures.
Pascal: “Truly it is evil to be full of faults, but a still
greater evil to be full of them and unwilling to recognize them.”
Thomas
Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation
We
are at liberty to be real, or to be unreal. We may be true or
false,
the choice is ours. We may wear now one mask and now
another,
and never, if we so desire, appear with our own true
face.
But we cannot make these choices with impunity. Causes
have
effects, and if we lie to ourselves and to others, then we
cannot
expect to find truth and reality whenever we happen to
want
them.

Resources:
Thomas Merton cited in Jason Locy and Tim Willard,
“Veneer: A Commentary on Culture and the Church” published by QShorts, 2009.