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Our Churches are now open for worship. The service times are: Sundays- St. Luke 10 a.m. St. Mary and St. Thomas 10.30 a.m. Midweek- Wednesdays St. Luke 10 a.m., Thursdays St. Mary and St. Thomas 10.30 a.m.
You can join us for a full service each Sunday at 10 a.m. at St. Luke Lowton or 10.30 a.m. at St. Thomas Golborne or St. Mary Lowton.
The Eyes of Love
1 Samuel 16.6 – 13. Samuel is sent to Jesse’s Farm to anoint a New King
“6 When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.’ 7But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as humans see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.’ 8Then Jesse called Abinadab…. then Shammah…”10 Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, ‘The Lord has not chosen any of these.’
“11 Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Are all your sons here?’ And he said, ‘There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.’ And Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.’ “12 He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The Lord said, ‘Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.”13. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward…”
Eyes that look Deep into the Soul
In Disney’s 1991 setting of the story of “Beauty and the Beast,” Belle’s father, Maurice, gets lost in the forest and seeks refuge in the Beast’s castle, but the Beast imprisons him for trespassing. When her father’s horse returns without him, Belle goes into the forest searching for him but finds him locked in the castle dungeon. The Beast agrees to free him if Belle takes his place as prisoner. She agrees, but not surprisingly, Belle sees the Beast as hideous, and aggressive!
The Beast says: “I’m just fooling myself. She’ll never see me as anything …but a monster.”
He invites her to dinner, and she dances with him. This is the point when the Disney magic begins. Somehow, we realise that Belle is beginning to look through the repulsive exterior, and beyond his temperamental mood – she is looking into his heart. Belle understands the Beast..
The Eyes of Love
In our Old Testament reading, it’s a selection line up. Each of Jesse’s sons are huge, strapping lads, with a look of maturity. The LORD, however, tells Samuel that none of the seven are appropriate to be appointed King of Israel. Then He shares this insight with the prophet. (See the panel on the left)
Within the LORD’s revelation are months of mediation and prayer for us; and one huge prayer – Lord give me Your eyes, that I might see beyond the superficial, that I too, may listen to hearts. Lord, end my prejudice.
How do the Eyes of Love affect our Community?
In a recent session of the LLF course in the Team churches, the speakers spoke of how we make our mind up about a person by their clothes, or their tattoo, or their political ideas. This may extend to the colour of their skin or their cultural background, or sexual orientation. Many of us have heard the old phrases like: “I can work out what a person is like in the first 10 seconds of meeting them…” Or “We all know what they are like don’t we?” This kind of prejudice is the culture of a world that has turned away from God. As Christians, we can have nothing to do with it.
How do the Eyes of Love affect Me?
Many of us know the story about Jesus talking with the Samaritan woman (John chapter 4) – a hated immigrant in Jewish society, and maligned because she had had several partners. When she returns to her village she says:
“Come and see a man who told me everything I’ve ever done!”
In her conversation with Him, she had learnt two things about this man: He had looked deep into her soul and had understood her; His intention towards her was all love. After his encounter with Jesus, the Christian killer, Saul, distils his traumatic experience into a few simple words: “The Son of God who loved me, and gave His life for me”.
Lord I know You can read everything inside me. Lord I know You understand me, and You love me. Now bring me back to a place of total trust in You. In the Name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen.