3 The lamp of God had not yet
gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of
the Lord, where the ark of God was.4 Then
the Lord called Samuel.
"Speak for your servant is listening" seems to be the
go-to verse when reading this passage. We all seem to skip over the
circumstances that led Samuel to that moment and focus on the call
itself. And while that is a great Kodak moment of the Bible, that little
snippet doesn't show us the whole story. As Christians, we all seem
to long for this Kodak moment. We wait for it eagerly, hoping God
will come down and speak to us directly, speak through someone, or
just SHOW us that whatever it is we're doing is "his
will". But the truth is, it's very rare that anybody has that
kind of amazing epiphany. God's call is a growing and evolving
call. It cannot be reduced to one, singular definitive moment in
time. It's a challenge, and Samuel accepted it from the beginning
of his life, when Hannah brought him to the temple.
Samuel's life was in complete surrender to
God. He spent every day in the temple with Eli. He was constantly
growing in the Lord. When God finally called Samuel "the lamp
of God had not yet gone out" and he was "lying down where
the ark was.". God's call can only be received by those who
have a relationship that doesn't "go out" and is
encapsulated by him in every moment.
"Opening our ears to his call"
requires us to have a genuine relationship with God. When we start
to seek Him with the discipline Samuel did, our lives will begin to
reflect His Kingdom. In the book “Hearing God” by Dallas
Willard it says, "We have no indication that even Jesus was
constantly awash with revelations as to what he should do. His
union with the Father was so great that he was at all times
obedient. This obedience was something that rested in his mature
understanding of his life before God, not on always being told “Now
do this” with regard to every detail of his life or work.
Just like Jesus, Samuel was not waiting
for a call to do God's work, he simply obeyed . When we dedicate
our lives, it should be with the knowledge that this requires our
obedience and ongoing faithfulness. Our singular response to God is
not equivalent to his enduring response and plans for us. God's
will cannot be revealed if we are not seeking after him. So we need
to take some time to seek Him today and reflect on God’s
evolving and enduring call in our life.
Father God, thank you
for sharing your perfect communion with us out of your love, even
though we are so undeserving of it. Help us to have the discipline
and a true desire to maintain a real relationship with you. Let
your Holy Spirit dwell in us with the hope that we may one day have
a mature understanding of your will, and that others may be able to see
your Kingdom revealed in us. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
“Those in whom the Spirit comes
to live are God's new Temple. They are, individually and corporately,
places where heaven and earth meet.” ―N.T. Wright
Community Formation Around Resurrection Experience Acts 23:1-10 Vinod Johnson Carmel MTC, Boston, MA 6 When Paul noticed that some were Sadducees and others were Pharisees, he called out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead.” Sometimes, the only thing that keeps you going through a brutal winter is the hope for the spring. It may have been a hard hope to hold on to this particular year in New England - a year in which Boston considered dumping not tea, but the ever growing mounds of snow into its harbor. And yet, the waist deep snow has dissolved away. White desolation has given way to increasingly visible green shoots of spring. A resurrection is at hand! In this passage, Paul tries to defend himself before the Sanhedrin Council. He seeks to drive a wedge between the Pharisees who believed in resurrection and the Sadducees who did not; even though neither believed in the resur
Revelation for Liberation Acts 27:18-26 Sherine Thomas Long Island MTC, NY 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest raged, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned. “After winter comes the summer. After night comes the dawn. And after every storm, there comes clear open skies” so said a Scottish clergyman from the 1600s. It’s been said, that hope can sometimes be the most dangerous weapon. However, it’s sometimes the hardest weapon to carry when you’re living with the loss of a loved one, something that almost feels like a terrible nightmare that’ll never go away. It’s a weapon difficult to carry when day in and day out no one seems to hear or see those tears that are shed or silent cries that are made during a heartfelt prayer. It’s a weapon difficult to carry as you see your loved one lying on that hospital bed. It’s a weapon difficult to carry as you search and seek out answers to tell a child as to why they’ve been a
PRIESTHOOD: THE ANOINTED MINISTRY Exodus 40:12-16 Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting... wash them with water. Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments, anoint him and consecrate him so he may serve me as priest (Exodus 40: 12-13). Priesthood among the people of God was a divine command and initiation. God wanted some people to be separated for the special ministry among his people. God appointed Aaron and his descendants to take up this kind of ministry among the people of God. Priests are always separated and appointed as channels that connect God with his people. All throughout the history of Israel, priests played an important role in connecting people with God and to lead and guide them in the statutes of God. But there are incidents in the Bible where the priests failed in their duties and that led the people to go away from God. So the priests have a special and significant ministry to perform in this world among his people. Two important things