Tag Archives: Responding to God’s Call

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 https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-here-i-am-lord

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.

Response

ShelterEastertide
April 25, 2016

Scripture Reading: Acts 16:9-15

During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.
–Acts 16:9-10

When do we trust our guts? When do take a dream or vison seriously? I score very high on the Myers Briggs personality type scale as being intuitive. I also score somewhat high on being a thinking person. Those two types find themselves in conflict at times. I over analyze my intuition. It is thus interesting to me the few times I never question my gut and act immediately upon what it is calling me to do. I sense that is what Paul did regarding his call to Macedonia.

Many years ago I took a sabbatical retreat wandering to and along the east coast in search of myself and my ancestry. In my planning ahead, I booked a stay at a bed and breakfast in the Poconos area of Pennsylvania. This part of my retreat was to be my quiet reflective time. I was definitely not pleased when I was assigned to a huge room with sleeping arrangements for five people, but decided to make the best of it. Then a large multigenerational family checked in across the hall and made the normal noise that any large multigenerational family would make. Thus I might have left the next day anyway. After the family had apparently headed out for an adventure and it was very quiet, I had the most urgent sense that I needed to leave there immediately. The keeper of the B and B was not home. I left a note on her table with a cash payment for the night and left. Driving west on highway 70 without stopping until I realized that it was getting dark, I began to look for a motel, found one, checked in, and then tried to analyze what I had just done. It made no sense to me and still doesn’t but I assure you I would do the same thing again. I think it had more to do with God working with me throughout the whole trip, granting me the peace I needed, and saying now get off your duff and get back to it. We do need to pay attention to those calls.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for being my shelter in the storms of life when shelter is what I need and I thank you for pushing me back out into the wind and the rain when that is what you need. Amen.

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 American. Used by permission. All rights 
reserved.