This week’s lessons contain two great stories of call, the call of Samuel and the call of Nathanael. Unlike the fishermen who hear Jesus’ call and “immediately drop their nets,” Samuel and Nathanael must first work through some confusion and doubt, some misgivings and fear, before they can arrive at that bold faithful response. Nathanael doubts that anything good can come out of Nazareth, pride and prejudice, and the fear that lies behind such things, must first be worked through before he can proclaim, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” And Samuel is confused, he does not recognize the voice of God, he must wake Eli time and time again with questions before he can respond, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
I like both of these stories of call because they are more like my experience. It’s hard for me to immediately drop everything and just follow. More often than not I need time to work through my doubts and fears. I need to talk it over with faithful people, wrestle with things, and let the Spirit do its work. These stories remind us that God’s call comes to us in many ways, including grace filled and patient ways.
To Dance With You
(If you are using an IPhone or Ipad you can play the song from the media player on the right side of this page!) I was never really present My heart and soul had disappeared I spent an evening in your arms But only danced with my own fears If should get another chance, I’d like to dance with you I didn’t hear what you were saying; Something louder filled my ears A shout born of a whisper; Too much time before the mirror If I should get another chance, I’d like to dance with you Round and round the dancers go Sometimes fast and sometimes slow How will I ever know The rhythm of my heart I didn’t see the light in your eyes; I only saw the doubt in mine And seeing is believing; My faith was so unkind If I should get another chance; I’d like to dance with you Round and round the dancers go Sometimes fast and sometimes slow How will I ever know The rhythm of my heart I didn’t hear what you were saying; Something louder filled my ears I spent an evening in your arms; But only danced with my own fears If I should get another chance, If true love really lasts, If grace can touch the past, I’d like to dance with you
May the God who knows the rhythm and passion of your heart; open your ears, your eyes, and your heart to the great calling of your life. And then may God’s love and grace set you free to respond boldly in faith. Amen.
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43The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” 46Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” 48Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” 51And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
1 Samuel 3:1-20
3Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread. 2At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; 3the 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. 4Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and he said, “Here I am!” 5and 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. 6The 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.” 7Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. 8The 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. 9Therefore 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. 10Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
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