Daily Office Readings for Thursday of Proper 11: Year 1
Morning, Psalm 50; Evening, Psalms 8 and 84;
1st Samuel 28:3 to 20; Acts 15:1 to 11; Mark 5:1 to 20:
“Moreover, the Lord will give Israel along with you into the hands of the Philistines; and tomorrow you and your sons shall be with me;” (1st Samuel 28:19).
Samuel has died. But the spirit of Samuel has been brought to the presence of Saul by a medium. This is a Hebrew (Old) Testament acknowledgement that there is at least some sort of spiritual existence after death. Now, Saul has been told that he and his sons will join him (Samuel) in this form of life on the next day.
My beloved of the Lord, all of us will be raised before the great throne, believers and non believers alike. The biggest concern we should have is “what happens next?”
Because we will be raised to some new form of awareness does not mean that we will absolutely remain that way for all eternity. There will be judgment. Saul is discovering this in the scripture. You and I are also learning this now. We, each of us, have the living responsibility now to live our lives to the best of our moral ability. We do this best by making for ourselves a “Rule of life.”
My personal creed or rule of life is stated thus: “I Trust in the Creating Word through the Holy Spirit of the Incarnate Word, in whom we live and move and love and have our being, and to whom we must give an account.” I had to work in the words, “must give and account” part. Everything in scripture leads me to believe that there will be a resurrection for each of us and there will be judgment for us in our resurrection. We should make it easy on ourselves now while still in this life. The old saying still holds true, “Forewarned is forearmed.”
Saul and his sons are joining Samuel in death with short notice. But I’m here to tell you all, that this very night is not promised to us. We know not when our mortality is required of us. The time to start getting ready was yesterday, but today is not too late. We want our mortality to become our immortality. And through our Lord Jesus it can happen. We however must do our part with Christ.
I know it sounds corny, but the one way to begin a change in our lives is to strive to love others as best we can. This was hard for Saul. He was jealous of David and jealous of how much the people loved David. Only near the end of his life did he come to terms with his shortcomings. But I suppose that’s better than never. Are you jealous of anyone? Is there anything in your heart pushing love out? It’s not too late to change. If we need anyone to come back from the dead as did Samuel, then we have our Lord Jesus who did it for our sake. Thank You Lord Jesus.
Let us live to 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