Daily Office Readings for Monday of Proper 8: Year 1
Morning, Psalm 106:1-18; Evening, Psalm 106:19-48;
1st Samuel 10:17 to 27; Acts 7:44 to 8:1; Luke 22:52 to 62:
“He brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its families, and the family of the Matrites was taken by lot. Finally he brought the family of the Matrites near man by man, and Saul the son of Kish was taken by lot. But when they sought him, he could not be found. So they inquired again of the Lord, ‘Did the man come here?’ and the Lord said, ‘See, he has hidden himself among the baggage.’ Then they ran and brought him from there. When he took his stand among the people, he was head and shoulders taller than any of them. Samuel said to all the people, ‘Do you see the one whom the Lord has chosen? There is no one like him among all the people.’ And all the people shouted, ‘Long live the king!: (1st Samuel 10: 21 to 24).
I would like to compare the two Sauls we have, one of the Hebrew Testament and one of the Christian Testament, who after Conversion was named Paul. They are both of the Tribe of Benjamin. They are both named Saul, perhaps a Tribal name that continues to be made anew. The Hebrew Saul is chosen by lot because the people demanded a king over them. The Christian Saul was selected by God in Christ Jesus resurrected for the propagation of the Gospel for people beyond Israel- you and me. A further difference is physical. The Saul of the Hebrew Testament was a tall, handsome man, head and shoulders taller than everybody else. The Saul of the Christian Testament was a short, bald, bowlegged man, considered by most of his day as very unattractive. The first was chosen because God was giving in to what the people wanted, but did not know what they were asking. The second was totally God’s decision for the real benefit of all human kind.
Can any good come out of the Tribe of Benjamin? I think it can and did. But it has to be God’s doing. God can bring good from any tribe, parish, family, or any place on earth. This includes you, no matter where you are on the planet, in Ecuador, or North Carolina, God can, and will use you, not as a king, but as one, like Paul of Tarsus, who lived out the Gospel of love in Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter how tall you are, or your looks, language, nationality, or gender. The only thing that really matters is your devotion to the Gospel and your effort to at least try to love all people.
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