Here I Am, Lord

Ordinary Time
January 8, 2018

Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 3:1-20

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. –1 Samuel 3:1-9

There is a difference in hearing the call and responding to the call. One thing is sure God calls all of God’s followers. When I first participated in my church, a  90-something woman in my church prepared the communion trays each week filling little individual glass cups with grape juice before worship and carefully washing them and storing them after worship for the next use. She lived four or five blocks from the church and, rain or shine would walk to the church on Fridays to prepare communion and return on Mondays to clean those cups. It was her calling, and she did it faithfully for years. We had to switch to plastic throw-away cups when she died. No one else was willing to do the tedious cleaning. I doubt her call was very dramatic, but it was something she could do at that age and stage of her life, and so she did.

Samuel’s call was more dramatic than our cup washer’s as was Paul’s, both callings so outstanding they merited Biblical documentation. Our callings are more likely to be similar to the cup washer’s. We may have a shining outstanding moment in our faith history, but most of our work is the persistent pursuit of the will of God whether supporting weekly worship or ministering to the whole nation of Israel or taking the Good News of Christ to the gentile world.  One of Eli’s last responses to God enabled God’s new servant to hear and respond to his call.

Prayer: Here I am, Lord. Is it I Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.* Amen

Refrain from Here I am, Lord words by Dan Schutte see at

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.