Brian K. Blount
Brian K. Blount is president and professor of New Testament at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia.
I am intrigued by the emphasis on call in 1 Samuel 16. Because I am a theological educator, I am even more fascinated by the role each of us can play in nurturing someone’s sense of call. Saul and David are the key “called” protagonists in the story. But it is Samuel who carries, clarifies, and extends God’s call.
Several months ago, I was invited by a journal to reflect on the meaning of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech 50 years later. Two months after that article was published, I was asked to give a brief talk on the civil rights movement and how it impacted me as its events unfolded. In both cases, I was asked to discuss the divisiveness that was addressed in the civil rights movement—and I could not help but reflect upon the divisiveness that bedevils much of American social and political life today.
The author of the fourth Gospel knows we need guideposts and leaders. In his account of Jesus’ ministry he includes an incident that models the bravest of efforts at letting go of a human division that has created deep social barriers.