When Saul turned to leave Samuel, God gave Saul a new nature. And everything Samuel had told him happened that day. When Saul and his servant arrived at Gibeah, a group of prophets met him. Suddenly the spirit of God took control of him, and he joined in their ecstatic dancing and shouting. People who had known him before saw him doing this and asked one another, ‘What has happened to the son of Kish? Has Saul become a prophet?’ (verses 9-11)
Read 1 Samuel 10:1–16
Willy Wonka owned a chocolate factory and he could make extraordinary chocolate. He sang a song about his powers: ‘Who can make a rainbow… the Candy Man can’. Well, Willy Wonka could make great chocolate, but he couldn’t make a new human heart. Only God can do that. He did it for Saul.
God gave Saul a high calling to be a protector and server of people, and then he gave him a new inner being to fulfil that calling. God has done the same for us by his Spirit. At baptism we are created anew and given the call to protect and serve others.
Like at baptism, that new heart is something that needs to be renewed constantly. That’s because we all have the old sin-filled nature within us, until we are made perfect in eternity. So, until that great day, we pray to God with the psalmist in Psalm 51:10-12:
Create a pure heart in me, O God, and put a new and loyal spirit in me. Do not banish me from your presence; do not take your Holy Spirit away from me. Give me again the joy that comes from your salvation. Amen.
by Adrian Kitson, in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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