Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Sanctification of Church: Learning and nurturing of faith and practice
1 SAMUEL 3:1-12
v10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening.”
We live in a very cluttered and noisy world. Discerning the voice of God is challenging and difficult for the most spiritual among us. How, then, do you hear the voice of God, how do you recognize the voice of God when you have never heard the voice of God in the first place? Or like Samuel, maybe God has called out to us in the past, but we didn’t know it was Him?
In a perfect world, parents would be the spiritual teachers of their children. Children experience a part of God’s love through their parents. In the book of Samuel, we read how Hannah prayed earnestly to God for a child and promised God that she would dedicate the child to God, if God blessed her with a child. After God answered Hannah’s prayer she kept her promise to God and prepared Samuel to live as God called him to live. Parents are the first building blocks of a child’s spiritual nourishment.
Once Samuel became of age to go the temple, Hannah dedicated him to God completely as she knew Samuel was a gift from God, an answer to a prayer that she had prayer with a crying heart for years. Once Samuel was in the temple, Eli the priest continued to guide Samuel and enrich him spiritually. We read in the book of Samuel how God calls out to Samuel while asleep, but Samuel fails to recognize God’s voice. Each time God called Samuel, Samuel thought Eli was calling him and goes to check on the older priest. Samuel’s perception was limited to the world and what he saw around him. After three times, Eli figures out that it is God who called Samuel. Eli then tells Samuel God, not him, is calling Samuel and instructs him on how to respond. Samuel does this and begins a conversation with God that lasts for the rest of Samuel’s life. Eli broadens Samuel’s perspective and becomes a guiding force for Samuel to recognize God’s call. Similarly church and Sunday school plays a role in molding and nourishing us to recognize God’s voice and know His calling for us. Our God requires us to change our focus on world and focus on Him who loved us even before we were born and still loves us.
Each of us is unique. We are unique to God. Our Father in Heaven who knew and loved us while we were being secretly formed in our mother’s womb, talks to us in a way each of us can understand — in a way most meaningful to us. God reaches to each of us in a way we can know, understand, and comprehend best. So, how do we begin? We begin by understanding how God has spoken in the past. That means reading and studying His Word. The Bible is the most comprehensive and thorough record of God’s conversations with His people. Knowing how God has spoken in the past is the best way to understand how God is talking now.
Heavenly Father please help us to recognize your voice and realize your calling for us.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Let us tune ourselves to hear God’s voice and to know His purpose for us.
Smitha Annie Mathew, SIMTC
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church