It can be hard to understand why some traditions live on while others do not. When the Israelites called out for a king, God told Samuel to anoint Saul. Saul looked the part. He was a tall, handsome man of thirty. He began his reign well enough, but he lost his way. He lost his heart to serve God in the decades that followed. Saul’s son never made it to the throne.
God called Samuel to anoint a new king. This time it was not a tall, handsome man, but a young shepherd boy. He would come to be known as a man after God’s own heart. It took many years, but David, that young shepherd boy, did become king. More than that, generations later the king of kings, Jesus Christ, was born from David’s family.
Saul was anointed, but he did not follow God’s path. David was anointed, and he did. What a difference! For one the throne passed out of his family before the next generation. For the other, the throne continues today with the risen Lord ruling in the hearts of His people. And the reign will not end with our generation. Jesus reigns eternally.
On our pilgrim journey we can learn from the past as we pursue an eternal goal. Actions and teachings from the past that have survived the test of time provide examples for us to follow. Come, Holy Ghost, Our Souls Inspire is a hymn that dates from the 9th century. Originally written in Latin by Rhabanus Maurus, it has been in continual use in the church for over a thousand years. Search the words for their enduring meaning.
Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
and lighten with celestial fire;
thou the anointing Spirit art,
who dost thy sevenfold gifts impart.
David’s royal line still lives on. Maurus’ words are still used as a morning hymn. The message of the cross is eternal. Remember that as you walk the path today.
Follow the Path!
[Use with Choosing David, day 25 of A Labyrinth Pilgrimage]