Daily Office Readings for Thursday of Proper 7: Year 1
“And the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. Just as they have done to me, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so also they are doing to you. Now then, listen to their voice; only—you shall solemnly warn them, and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them: (1st Samuel 8:7 to 9)
We have the most of the Pentateuch, the Torah, (Exodus through Deuteronomy) where God explains, through Moses, how the Israelites are not to be like the people they are going to encounter when they cross the Jordan into the Promised Land. Yet, they tell Samuel that they want to be like the other nations. How quickly we forget, and how sadly we want to be like everybody else.
Biblically speaking, every time the crowd came to a decision, it was not a heavenly one; from the making of a golden calf while Moses was on the mountain in the Book of Exodus, to the incited crowd yelling “Crucify Him” to Pontius Pilate regarding Jesus as stated in the Gospel. Too often we fail to listen to the loving voice of God speaking in our hearts and in our souls.
A great many people moving on a hasty decision does not make it the moral action we should take in most cases. We, individually, need to think for ourselves. I, again present the words of Blaise Pascal who informs us that, “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a roomalone.” I find such sitting in a quiet room alone and pondering about a concern, or life and our relationship with the Creator, is gracefully gratifying. Regardless of your political affiliation, or any “majority or minority” influence, we all have a personal responsibility to think, and ponder for ourselves. God created us in God’s loving and thinking Image.
Let us not want to be like others just to be like others. The crowd itself can become a false god. Our beauty is in our diversity of looks, cultures, languages, traditions, religious beliefs and ethnicity. We were never made to be all of one way, except the Way of the Love of God, for God, and for one another.
Let us live in order that we might love, rather than just live to live, listening to what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John