‘From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view…’ 2 Corinthians 5: 16
We are continuing to look at Samuel this week and how he listens to God. The people have desired a King and Saul was chosen, but as Samuel prophesied he became a despot and failed to rule fairly and with wisdom. So, God speaks to Samuel and tells him to choose a new king from the sons of Jesse. Samuel looks at each son in turn, and despite the eldest seeming to be the best choice, God says he does not look on the outward appearance but on the heart. No one is found until Jesse calls his youngest David back from the fields, and God tells Samuel to anoint him for he has been chosen.
We often think that we know what is right and good; we learn this through our experiences of life and through the societal values in which we live. In this story of Samuel and in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians we are told that we may not always get things right. We are to learn to see things differently, from a Godly or spiritual point of view. This requires us to have minds open to hearing from God, to learn from the Bible and the examples given there, to pray and discern with one another. Just as we have learned to trust our natural senses, we need to learn to use our spiritual senses and align our hearts with God’s.
Today we are celebrating Olivia’s Baptism with her parents Steve and Charlotte. In Baptism we recognise there is more to life than what we simply see and experience. There is a natural birth and there is a spiritual birth. We live life as a journey of spiritual awakening, of walking with God. We don’t do this alone, and Christ himself urges us along. He calls out to us and we can choose to listen. He judges us not by the standards of the world, but sees our hearts. He loves us and encourages us. He transforms us and makes us all new.
‘So if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come – the old has gone the new is here’ 2 Corinthians 5:17