Thought for the Day

Epiphany 2: 17th January 2021

1 Samuel 3: 1 – 10; John 1: 43 – 51

1 Samuel 3: 1 – 10

Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.

At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ and he said, ‘Here I am!’ and ran to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call; lie down again.’ So he went and lay down. The Lord called again, ‘Samuel!’ Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call, my son; lie down again.’ Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, ‘Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” ’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’

First of all, there is no deep significance in the illustration for today.  I rather like the photo of the frosty grass! I think it reflects something of the season in Sandwich!

But I have printed the lesson from 1 Samuel and not the Gospel, because I think it might speak to us all at the beginning of the year. We read the account of the little boy Samuel hearing a call from God. He hears God call him by name. If we reflected on our baptisms last week, we may have thought about that time when we received our names – our Christian names (maybe even new names for the occasion).

Our names are truly important to us – they are the names by which we are known, by which others address us. They are how we are recognised.   And throughout the Bible we find references to God giving us our names, knowing our names and calling us by name.  God who we worship knows us individually by name. He recognises each one of us.

The child Samuel is confused when God calls him.  His immediate reaction is that he has heard the voice of Eli, who he will have known well and with whom he ministered. But that call is from God, and Samuel is helped by Eli to respond appropriately to the God who calls.

God calls us too – each one by name. Pray that we might recognise his voice and be obedient unto his words.

Thanks be to God.    

We pray together….
Eternal Lord,
our beginning and our end:
bring us with the whole creation
to your glory, hidden through past ages
and made known
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Our Father,
who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever.

Go in the peace of Christ
Thanks be to God  

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Grateful thanks to the Revd. Jeanne Males for writing Thought for the Day in 2020 and we look forward to the weekly thoughts in 2021