Monday, October 21, 2013

Just Before Dark

Note: This is a continuation of posts from my Advanced Preaching students at Kentucky Christian University.  I (and they) would appreciate some feedback.

Guest author: Jacob Steagall (@jsteag777)

There’s always that feeling about the time just before dark. The sun is setting  provoking the best instagrams. You’re driving in the car with friends, getting ready for the big game, just starting the date. You’re in that position of “it’s beginning,” “it’s starting to get moving,” “we’re on our way, but not there yet.” We’re in the moment of transition. Anticipation. We’re taking on the night and though in our minds we water it down, there’s still a part of us that holds onto the hope that this could be the best yet. We feel like whatever part of us is youth, is taking over and we are invincible in this moment. Those feelings, those emotions, all stirring in me while standing in the line before the concert. The chill of the onsetting night cools the fresh paint that we just put on our faces. I can see the look of the people passing by, as they look at hundreds of kids on the side walk with painted faces. “What are they?” “Is this some kind of club?” “Is it a cult?” They’re faces in passing said it all. The answer would be, D none of the above. We’re just some kids with not much in common, coming together for this one event. Wearing the mark or paint, of what this band stood for, the next couple of hours we would be crazy, wild, not worrying about anything other than the one crazy fan that held their beer a little too loosely. You could tell what we were all there for. We had the mark. We were there for the one band, none of the others, but the one band that also had the mark. All held in common by the paint.

In 1 Samuel 16 we see God directing his mouthpiece, Samuel, to anoint Israel’s next king. Samuel heads to the town of Jesse the Bethlehemite and in the form of a worship service, approaches Jesse to choose one of his sons to be king, as God had instructed. Starting at the most likely Samuel approaches Jesse’s oldest, biggest and strongest. I picture a Channing Tatum like character and God denies him. Samuel goes down the line until he is left with the runt who wasn’t even invited to the shin dig in the first place. Proving that the more unlikely you are the more likely God is to use you, Samuel anoints the more unlikely, David, to become the next king. The Hebrew word for anointing, mashah, means to smear, to rub or to paint. David being marked by a physical symbol then had the spiritual indwelling of the Spirit.

We Christians, much like the concert line are painted and we, much like David, are marked, smeared, anointed by the Holy Spirit. From the moment of the indwelling, we have God with us in every moment of our lives. We are called to take on the night with the light that is our King. We do not wait but drive forward in anticipation, preparing for the bigness of what’s to come, taking others with us for maybe the first time, all together for one goal. We may not have much in common, but we should turn heads, others focusing on the one thing that we do have together. This will be the best yet. We are marked, painted by God as a “peculiar” people and we are taking on the night.

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