In our reading for this evening, we hear that Samuel comes in peace and extends the invitation to Jesse and his sons to join him in the offering of a sacrifice to the Lord. Rabbi Solomon Hirsch wrote: “The driving force for us to bring a sacrifice or offering to God is to bring us closer to God.” Sacrifice usually implies “doing without something” or “giving something up”. But the word sacrifice also describes doing good for others or taking a short-term loss in return for a greater good. The notion of sacrifice combines the concepts sacra (sacred things) and facere (to do or perform).
I woke up this morning to a vivid reminder of the sacrifice (sacred actions) others are doing for our good. The health and medical professions, first responders, the folks stacking food on the grocery shelves, the kitchen staff at care facilities, the care givers… the list of individuals sacrificing is long and wide ranging. Be mindful of those who do good for you, us and all. During your prayer time, we encourage you to lift up all the people who are sacrificing for our good, for the good of their community, country and the health throughout the globe.
Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 16:1-5
The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” 2 Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.” 4 Samuel did what the Lord commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” 5 He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
Who is making a sacrifice for you?
What sacred acts will you offer to become closer to one another and God?
Holy God, receive our deepest gratitude for those who give of themselves, who sacrifice for our health and good. You have blessed us with their presence as they offer sacred acts. Keep them safe and steady for the journey ahead. Anoint all with strength and show us the path of peace. Amen.