By: Brittany Fiscus-van Rossum
1 Samual 16:1-13
Reflection—v. 2 ‘How can I go? If Saul hears of it…’

I can relate to Samuel’s hesitance after God urges him to seek out the next king of Israel. ‘If Saul finds out I’m looking for his replacement he will literally kill me,’ says Samuel. ‘Just take a cow with you and pretend you’re going to give a sacrifice,’ God says, imploring Samuel to be a little crafty in his work-around the system. God asks Samuel to subvert the powers that be, and while it’s cool to think about being a rebel for the Lord, it wasn’t as easy as blasting a contentious Facebook post. You see, I too like to fancy myself a rebel sometimes, with my turquoise hair and my tattoos, but in truth, deep down inside I like following the rules, getting pats on the head, and well, being liked. Yet try as I might to avoid it, if I position myself with God’s people on the margins, I seem unable to escape uncomfortable conflict. I find myself in situations where I must pushback when I would rather be agreeable. Where I must step in the midst of arguments when I would rather turn away. Where I must hide my intentions to protect the wellbeing of my community when I would rather trust systems and policies. Because the longer I find myself trying to be a faithful follower of our expectation-sabotaging God the more I find myself questioning whether ‘the powers that be’ have the poor’s best interests at heart (spoiler alert: they don’t!). When we’d rather not, may God give us the courage to be crafty power-subverting God-followers like Samuel and answer God’s command to ring in a different kind of kingdom.

Prayer Give us the courage, O God, to subvert the powers that do your children harm.

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