1 samuel 15:16-23; Ps 50 to the upright I will show the saving power of God; Mark 2:18-22
Here are the words of Samuel to Saul, "The LORD anointed you King of Israel and sent you on a mission…you have pounced on the spoil, thus displeasing the Lord."
Mission. Every one these days write their own mission statement. They write it to motivate their employees, to stay focus as an organization, to be able to refocus over time. The mission statement is meant to be the basics that lay the foundation on what the person or organization is all about.
We have a mission statement at St. Michael school: to know as Jesus knew, love as Jesus loved, serve as Jesus served."
God gives mission statement all the time in the biblical reality. As he does with Samuel, "go and the sinful Amalekites under a ban of destruction." In other words, leave no one and nothing behind and take no one and nothing with you when you go.
Simple. Straight forward. No room for spin or second guessing.
Yet, some how the mission statement got misconstrued. Saul decided to keep some spoil for himself and his soldiers under the presumption that it was going to be used in sacrificial offerings to the Lord.
Samuel's response is clear and precise, "Does the Lord so delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obedience to the command of the Lord? Obedience is better than sacrifice and submission than fat of the ram."
Obedience is the mission statement for Saul as well as for us as Christians.
We get get all fancy with mission statement and have poetic words in the mix of the statement but it all boils down to one thing: obedience to the word of God.
We are asked to both do what God says and do what he does as we see Christ lifted high on the cross. Obedience will be its own sacrifice. there can be Sacrifice without obedience but there can never be obedience with the sacrifice of our own selfish desires.
Now a word from Pope Francis
"Goodness always tends to Spread. Every authentic experience of truth and goodness seeks by its very nature to grow within us, and any person who has experienced a profound liberation becomes more sensitive to the needs of others. As it expands goodness takes root and develops. If we wish to lead a dignified and fulfilling life, we have to reach out to others and seek their good…The love of Christ urges us on…Woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel."
The love of Christ urges me on becomes the true strength and cause of obedience.
We do not do what he says because of our love for him but because of his love for us.