OK - - so here's another angle that might be more Lent-y. It's also more "personal" which is something I got some critiques about a couple of months ago. The critique really was that my sermons don't tell people how to apply the Scripture to their life. In many ways I actually see that as a compliment more than a criticism, but I think maybe part of what was being expressed was a desire (thirst?) to hear a word not just to the church body, but to those who are individually members of it. I tend to preach to the body more than to people. I tend to preach to the church, not to individuals who are also on their own walk of faith. We've had quite a few visitors coming lately, some of whom have not had a church home in a number of years, some of whom have are "babies in faith." I don't think that criticism was inappropriate so I've been trying to fit in a few that still don't give all the answers (as if I HAVE all the answers), but are more for people in their faith walk instead of just the community as we walk together. Since my "normal" is preaching to the community as the audience I don't think I need to worry about being too "Me 'n' Jesus"-y.
Whew! All that is to say, I'm feeling maybe a little prompted by pieces of the commentary I've seen about Samuel, his grief, his anger, and MAYBE his feeling of failing (even if he may not have really failed) with Saul. Here in 1 Sam 16, then might be a GLORIOUS word about second chances. Not a bad word at all for mid-Lent when my own disciplines aren't going so well. Not a bad word at all for mid-life when we haven't been as connected to God as we may have liked. God doesn't dwell in that. God picks up (and picks us up) and moves us on to the next big thing.
Hmmm... Now I don't know what I want to do.