Week of July 26

Remaining in the Season After Pentecost, this Sunday is the Eighth Sunday After Pentecost.  Summer is almost half over, but we are just in the first part of our liturgical season.  The color is green.

One of the ways we grow is learning is through seeing the many variety of God’s people around the world.  God does not always choose who we would choose.  To do the really important jobs, God sometimes chooses the smaller or the one most different or the one who most people would see as the least.

Bible Story: David, a child is chosen to be king. David fights a giant. (1 Samuel)

Saul had been king, but he kept disobeying God so God asked Samuel to find a new king.  Samuel was a prophet.  God said to Samuel, “Go to Bethlehem and there is a man named Jesse with eight sons.  One of them will be the next king.”

When Samuel first met the sons, he automatically thought that the oldest son named Eliab would be the king that God had chosen.  But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at the way he looks or how big he is.  Eliab is not the one I have chosen, the way he looks doesn’t matter to me, I look at the heart.”

Jesse brought more of his sons to meet Samuel but none of them God had chosen either.  Samuel asked Jesse, “Have I met all your sons?”  Jesse replied, “I have one son left named David, he’s the youngest, and he’s out looking after the sheep.  I will bring him here to meet you.”

As soon as Samuel saw David, the Lord spoke to him and said, “He is the one.”  Samuel anointed him with oil which was a special way of promising him that he would be the next king.  And from that day on the power of the Lord was with David, even though David was a small boy.

David continued to take care of his father’s sheep in the fields.  When he didn’t have much to do in the field, he played instruments, and wrote songs and poems that you can find in the book of Psalms in your Bible.

Meanwhile Saul was still king and he ruled people called Israelites.  David and his family were Israelites too.  The Israelites weren’t getting along with people named the Philistines.

The problem with the Philistines was that they had many giants living in their land.  One of the strongest and biggest giants was named Goliath.  He was over nine feet tall!  He would’ve had to bend way down to get through a regular door.  The Philistines wanted what was not theirs and used their giants to bully people into giving all they had to them.

Goliath was covered with armor to protect him and carried a big spear.  Every morning and every evening for forty days he shouted to the Israelites in his big deep voice, “Hey, you guys!  I dare you to find one man to fight me.  If he can beat me, we will become your servants, but if I win you will all become our servants.”  Goliath would laugh at the people and make fun of them.

When Saul and all his men heard Goliath, they were very afraid.  Three of these men were David’s three oldest brothers.  They were the only ones in David’s family that could go fight because they were old enough.

Now David’s father Jesse heard about the giant and was worried for his sons.  He called David out of the fields and asked him to take some food to his brothers and report back how they are doing.

So, David set off to visit his brothers.  As he approached them, he heard Goliath shouting his challenge like he did every morning.  “Isn’t someone going to stand up to this bully?”  David asked the men in the army.  “Then I will fight this giant Philistine.”

One of the men overheard this and ran to Saul and told him what David said.  Saul approached David and said, “You can’t fight Goliath, you’re only a boy and he has been fighting for many years.”  But David said to Saul, “I have had to fight lions and bears to protect my father’s sheep.  God helped keep me safe then and he will help keep me safe now.”

David’s brothers laughed at David and said he was too small and should go home and take care of the sheep.

It was too bad that Saul the king wasn’t trusting in God to help him, he didn’t know what to do to beat Goliath.  Then this young boy named David came and he knew in one day exactly what to do, and trusted that God would help him.  That’s why God loved David’s heart and wanted him to be king.

Saul dressed David in heavy armor to protect him from Goliath but David took it off.  It was so heavy he could hardly walk and he knew that God would keep him from harm.  Instead David went to a stream nearby and found five smooth stones, put them in a pouch around his waist, and with his sling he went to Goliath.

As David approached Goliath, Goliath looked at David and thought it was a joke.  Goliath thought that he could easily beat David and it was funny that Saul would send a small boy to fight him. Goliath laughed at David and laughed at the people.  He thought they were foolish and silly.   But David said to him without fear, “You fight with a sword and I come with God on my side and today everyone will know that there is one true God in this land.”

Goliath didn’t care what David said and he moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly to meet him.  Reaching into his pouch he pulled out a stone, put it into his slingshot and shot it at Goliath.  The stone had hit him right between his eyes and suddenly Goliath started to lose his balance.

He fell with a loud thud right on his face.  David had done it; he beat the giant Philistine!  When the rest of the Philistines saw this, they ran away.  If a little boy could defeat their biggest giant, imagine what the grown-ups could do.   David became a hero to all the people in Israel.

Meditation: 

David, the youngest and the smallest was not, who anyone thought God should choose to be a king.  A shepherd was not, who people believed God would pick.  God does not look at the outside of us, God looks at the heart and God knew David had a heart for God.

One day David is caring for sheep and playing songs then the next day, he is anointed king.  While still caring for his family’s sheep, he goes to see his brothers, the big guys, and does what no one else will dare to do!  He stands up to a bully.  Instead of wearing armor and carrying a sword, David does what he knows and uses his sling shot.  The smallest pebble, from a small boy, saves a kingdom and a people.

It can be hard for us, sometimes, to see others the way God sees us.  We sometimes think the people we should admire are the prettiest, the tallest, the strongest, the mightiest, and the richest.  It can be hard for us to see past the outside appearance.  But God sees us for who we really are.  He sees inside us. Since we are to love like Jesus did, that can sometimes be the hardest part, not making assumptions about someone until we really get to know who they are “inside”.  Like God, we are to see past people’s outside appearance and get to know who they are.  It happens a lot in the Bible, the person you least expect, turns out to be the real hero or heroine. 

Prayer:  Glorious God, we thank you for making each of us different and each of us wonderful in our own way.  Help us to see others the way you do.  Help us to see others with our hearts instead of our eyes.  Help us to love like you do.  In Jesus’ Name and through the Holy Spirit, we pray.  Amen.

Activities (choose one or more to do during the week):

  1. Discussion questions-Is there anything you want to do, but you are too little or young or short to do?  Is there anything you want to try, but are afraid to do so?  By not choosing someone from the nobility or wealthy families to be king, what does that say about what God thinks of those things?  What makes a person valuable in God’s eyes?  What makes a person valuable in your eyes?    Do you have someone you admire?  What are they like?  What qualities do they have?  How do those characteristics measure up in God’s view?
  2. Musical responseDavid, the Shepherd Boy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMqk0DGZSSs, Little David https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gUQ9zsOKc4
  3. Craft response: Make and decorate a crown using markers, foam, stickers, and glitter  or make a sling shot by gluing craft sticks together and then tying string to support where the glue went.  Tie a string or yarn across the top to be used for the “stones”.  Use fluff balls (puffs) as the stones.  For printable pages to color or use materials to fill in pictures: http://clipart-library.com/david-and-goliath-bible-crafts.html
  4. Outreach/community service response: David took care of the sheep.  It did not seem important, but it was.  There are places that take care of our animal friends.  Donate food or supplies to an animal shelter or St. Anne’s Animal Feeding Pantry.  Or make a squirrel feeder by putting peanut butter on a pine cone and stick animal appropriate treat on it or hang a corn on the cob in the trees for the squirrels.  Put out bird seed for our bird friends.
  5.  Activity response: For two hours, let a child be king.  What would they do?  Decorate a sheet of paper with what you would do if you were king or queen. 
  6.  In-reach response:  David had lots of brothers and they were all older.  Sometimes it is hard to be the oldest and sometimes it is hard to be the youngest.  Sometimes it is hard to be an only child.  Make a crown for others in your family and do one thing to show them they are loved.
  7.  Game response: Water Balloon Toss- draw or use clothing to create a giant outside.  Take turns tossing water balloons at the giant from different distances away.  Another game is to use post-its and write smallest to biggest (may be stars, characters in a movie or cartoon, book characters), one name on each post-it.  Putting one post-it on each person’s forehead so they cannot see it.  All wander, person to person, asking each person a yes or no answer question for the person on their forehead, trying to guess who is on their forehead.  Only questions with the answer of yes or no can be asked!
  8.  Watching the story: David and Goliath: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gqi7D7QiZg    King David, the Shepherd, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSJXo_Vlsbw
  9. Flat Jesus activity: Jesus was a very different king.  Can you make a crown for your Flat Jesus and take a picture?  Send it to Deacon Lauren. Or send a picture of any of these activities.