As the first reading last Sunday, we heard the story of Samuel anointing David as King, to replace Saul. The funny part about that story is that David is anointed king long before he actually assumes the throne. For years and years, he serves Saul as a member of his court. David's kingship takes some time to incubate.
Those of us who follow the Revised Common Lectionary never get to hear two other stories of how David moves in the direction of assuming the throne.
Immediately, after being anointed by Samuel, David is taken into Saul's service to play the lyre when Saul becomes tormented by an evil spirit. Here is the true king, David, the man after God's own heart playing to soothe the soul of the man God has rejected as King.
Only after David makes his way to the royal court in this way does the more famous story of David and Goliath occur. David wins favor in the court, he moves towards his throne, first by playing music. What keeps David going all of his days as king is not his prowess with the sword, though he has plenty of victories on the field of battle, but his prowess with the harp and with song. Just look at all the Psalms attributed to him!
What if we chose our leaders, in politics and in the church, not by their prowess with weapons or politicking or displaying power, but by their gifts in music and song? Our world very well may need its soldiers and its deal makers, but more than that, our world needs someone to teach us, to remind us, to sing.