Week 26: Samuel

Reading some of these ancient stories about Israel and the Ark of the Covenant makes me think of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. These old stories seem to engage in some of the same sort of magical thinking Hollywood has created about the power of this strange and holy relic.

Remember our sacred scriptures are not verbatim words from God but rather the gathered and evolving wisdom of a community set in its own time and place . . .

These chapters in First Samuel introduce us to the first king of Israel and give us the backstory of Saul and how he became king. I always find it poignant to read this explanation about why the people thought they needed a human king.

But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel. They said:

“No! but we are determined to have a king over us, so that we also may be like other nations, and that our king may govern us and go out before us and fight our battles.”

(1 Sam 8:19)
“So that we may be like other nations.”

It makes me sad to hear similar sentiments lived out in some current day churches of the United States.

How tempting it is to blend in with the pervasive culture of our society!

It’s all too easy us to confuse what it means to be the people of God with what it means to be an American. I cringe at the conflations everywhere around me.

Read more at Charlotte Vaughan Coyle. Living in The Story: A Year to Read the Bible and Ponder God’s Story of Love and Grace (p. 305-315). Resource Publications. Kindle Edition.

Living in The Story readings for Week 26

1 Samuel 4-14

Psalm 11

Psalm 59

Psalm 61

Psalm 71

Acts 16-18

John 2-3

Author: Charlotte Vaughan Coyle

Charlotte lives and blogs in Paris TX. She is ordained within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and developed Living in The Story while doing doctoral work at Brite Divinity School in Ft. Worth. Charlotte also blogs about intersections of faith, politics, and culture at CharlotteVaughanCoyle.com.

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