YOUR SERVANT IS LISTENING

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Opening Prayer

Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. BCP 219

TEXT

1 Samuel 3:1-11 NRSV

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.

Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”  Then the Lord said to Samuel, “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle.”

John 1:43-51 NIV

The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.” “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that.” He then added, “I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

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Man must put aside all ‘selfdom’ and concern with the ‘Self’ so that he does not look out for himself at all, indeed as though he did not exist.

In other words, he should be concerned with his own self as little and think about his own self and his own as little as though he did not exist; yes, he should take as little account of himself as though he were not. He should view all created things from the same point of view.

What is real, then, and what should one hold on to?

I answer: one thing alone, namely that which we call God. Therein is verily true obedience. That is the true state of affairs in the blessed Eternity. In the Eternal, nothing is sought, contemplated or loved but this one thing only, obedience to God.

— The Theologia Germanica

Prayer of Response

Jesus Christ, you call us to follow you and yet so often we are distracted by the things of this world. Jesus, have mercy on us and free us for joyful obedience! Renew in us a desire to seek only your will for our lives and to follow you with all our strength. As you call us to follow you, let our answer be a resounding: “Speak, Lord for your servant is listening!”

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