Don't worry about this Philistine," David told Saul. "I'll go fight him!"
"Don't be ridiculous!" Saul replied. "There's no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You're only a boy, and he's been a man of war since his youth."
I Samuel 17:32-33
When David showed up and offered to take on Goliath, he didn't look like the hero they were hoping for or expecting. It didn't matter that he'd tended his flock and kept them safe. It didn't matter that he was the hero they needed. He didn't have the look. He looked even sillier when they put the armor on him. They mocked him and called him foolish. He went out to face certain death, even as they discouraged him. He was just from a little town called Bethlehem. But he was a direct descendant of Abraham - 14 generations removed. And as we know, God had plans for David.
So when we read the story of Holy Week, we shouldn't then be surprised. A man of the house and lineage of David, 14 generations after him, in the city now known as the City of David, the Great King, the Giant slayer, the once shepherd, comes to the Holy city of Jerusalem to face certain death, riding a donkey. And the praises of Palm Sunday turned quickly to mockery. He wasn't the King they expected or wanted. They couldn't see that the Great Shepherd calling to his sheep was the hero and King they needed. But God had plans for his son and for us.
So we shouldn't be surprised that while we hail heroes of the sports arenas and political stage, of silver screen and fame, we often fail to recognize the real heroes among us, the ones we need. We take little notice of our first responders and healthcare workers, our grocery clerks and drive-thru cashiers, our truckers and other essential workers. At least until they face the giant pandemic that we face in fear, until they are willing to walk toward death for us to be servant leaders who risk it all. Heroes rarely look like we expect. We often don't recognize them till after the fact. Ours are serving us each day in this crisis. They are the hands and feet of Christ. They head to work each day like David did, saying, "If no one else will face the giant, I will. God is with me." Let us pray for them, support them by staying home, and following the recommended precautions they give us, and let us thank them.