Daily Reflection
January 18th, 2002
Jeanne Schuler
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1 Samuel 8:4-7, 10-22
Psalm 89:16-17, 18-19
Mark 2:1-12

Give us a king.  Make him powerful.  We want wealth, weapons, and grand palaces to dazzle all nations.  Let us crush our enemies. None will stand long before us.  Our name will strike fear.  Give us a king.

Samuel warned the elders: a curse is hiding in your dreams.  All that you cherish will be taken from you.  The king will call your sons to be warriors and your daughters to wait upon the wealthy.  The best crops, animals, and servants will belong to the ruler.  Now you have enough. With luxury comes poverty and war.  This fantasy of greatness will leave you slaves.  Wake up.  Return to God, our only king.

Samuel was wise and realized much.  God sees further.  This people must learn.  They want a great nation to save them.  Give them a king.  God steps aside so that learning can occur.  History carries us far.  Moments of peace overshadowed by disaster. Abysmal rulers, more wars, better laws.  Great nations turn away from those in need.  The shadow of the poor settles over the gleaming fortress.  Some listen to their cries. Experience teaches us painfully what we will not hear in the prophet’s words.

You call us in freedom.  We are not strangers to the labyrinth that lies in our heart.  What is fantasy?  Where lies freedom? Sickened by pretense and ashamed of weakness, we hunger for what is true.  Life hands us knots that seem beyond untangling. We cannot do this alone.  There you are by our side.  Healing our hearts.  Teaching your people.

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