The Jesse Tree
Second Friday of Advent: David
A Reading from the Book of 1 Samuel (16:1-13a):
“The LORD said to Samuel: ‘How long with you grieve for Saul, whom I have rejected as king of Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I have chosen my king from among his sons.’ But Samuel replied: ‘How can I go? Saul will hear of it and kill me.’ To this the LORD answered: ‘Take a heifer along and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I myself will tell you what to do; you are to anoint for me the one I point out to you.’
“Samuel did as the LORD had commanded him. When he entered Bethlehem, the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and inquired, ‘Is your visit peaceful, O seer?’ He replied: ‘Yes! I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. So cleanse yourselves and join me today for the banquet.’ He also had Jesse and his sons cleanse themselves and invited them to the sacrifice. As they came, he looked a Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the LORD’s anointed is here before him.’ But the LORD said to Samuel: ‘Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart.’ Then Jesse called Abinadab and presented him before Samuel, who said, ‘The LORD has not chosen him.’ Next Jesse presented Shammah, but Samuel said, ‘The LORD has not chosen this one either.’ In the same way Jesse presented seven son before Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, ‘The LORD has not chosen any one of these.’ Then Samuel asked Jesse, ‘Are these all the sons you have?’ Jesse replied, ‘There is still the youngest, who is tending the sheep.’ Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Send for him; we will not begin the sacrificial banquet until he arrives here.’ Jesse sent and had the young man brought to them. He was ruddy, a youth handsome to behold and making a splendid appearance. The LORD said, ‘There — anoint him, for this is he!’ Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand, anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and from that day on, the spirit of the LORD rushed upon David.”
Lord, God of David, you anointed the shepherd boy as king of Israel. He was a man who sought after Your own heart and desired to please You in every way. Still, even he sinned and in his shame brought death to his house. Yet, You poured out Your mercy on him, raised up sons to succeed him, and promised him a kingdom that would last forever. You fulfilled that promise in the Kingship of Jesus, the Son of David, Who calls all to freedom under His reign in the everlasting Kingdom of God. May we never lose faith in Your promise. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.