It’s not so much about what we’ve done, but how we respond.

Yesterday I gave you a short sermon, with links to a couple of stories from the Bible. Today I’ll point out a few things from those stories.

I said that God reaches out to us, as we are going about our lives, and touches us.

In the stories of Samuel anointing David, and Jesus healing a man born blind, we have examples of very ordinary people going about their daily lives.

Samuel was an old man by this time, in the waning years of his career. He had been the priest and prophet for Israel. Then he anointed Saul as king, a political event that had not turned out well for Israel or Samuel. And now he’s living in isolation from Saul, hesitant to obey God because of the violent and random temper of Saul.

David is the youngest of his brothers, working as a shepherd. He would have had few career options, few wealth options.

And the man born blind was a beggar, the object of pity and of judgment, as evidenced by the comment of the disciples: “Who sinned, this man or his parents?”

They weren’t in positions of power. They weren’t particularly deserving of attention from God, at least from our perspective.

On the day we meet them, they are going about their lives. Samuel may have been praying. Or thinking about the past. David was shepherding. The man was begging.

And the way God reached out differed. For Samuel, there was a voice. But that’s how God always interacted with Samuel, from his childhood. He heard an audible voice. David didn’t hear at all from God. His touch was the touch of Samuel as he poured oil on David’s head. And the man felt mud in his eye. It may have been good that he didn’t know how the mud had been made.

We often associate God’s touch with our deserving. When we obey enough or work hard enough or worship enough. But for these three men, it wasn’t about their deserving, it was about God’s outreach.

And for people who are has-beens, not-yets, and beggars, like us, that’s good news.