Reflections for

Fourth Sunday in Lent, Mar 26, 2017

1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41


Spit and dirt, said the blind man

when he left Christ’s side
himself no more a blind man
since Christ gave him sight.

Men who looked like trees
the first sight he saw.
Only a former blind man
could see us as we are

recognize how rare
specify how far
apart our being
and our seeming are.

What could he do but stare,
blink away the spit and dirt,
watch Christ wipe his hands
on his blinding white shirt?


Eliab’s complaint

1 Samuel 16

I had all the qualifications:
the prerogatives of the firstborn,
the stature of a man of authority, a Goliath,
an aquiline nose, an Octavian head,
a heart flaming with anger, Saul’s
good looks and regal gait. I had splendor
and grace. I prayed loudly, devoutly.
I came from good roots
and was born in the right place.
Who could be holier from Bethlehem?

How could my kid brother be anointed,
the one with rosacea, looks like carpenter’s
shavings, the smell of sheep dung on his hands,
who roamed the fields looking for a lost lamb.
He wasn’t even invited to the sacrificial banquet.

That old stickler Samuel knew I should be king.
I coveted the horn that was strapped
over his shoulders leaning toward me.
Why wasn’t that good enough for God?
My name alone should have given me
the edge in the kingdom.

Any fool could see that.


Revised Common Lectionary © 1992 the Consultation on Common Texts. Used by permission.