Throughout the Lenten Journey, one the daily devotionals per week comes from the ReForming Spiritual Reflections. You can find more and download your copy on our website.
BEGIN BY FINDING A QUIET PLACE.
Begin by finding a quiet place where you can settle in a way that fosters deep peace and relaxation. Allow time for your mind to empty, your breathing to calm, and your spirit to open.
I Samuel 3:8-10, 15-18
8 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. 9 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. 10 Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
15 Samuel lay there until morning; then he opened the doors of the house of the Lord. Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to
Eli. 16 But Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” He said, “Here I am.” 17 Eli said, “What was it that he told you? Do not hide it from me. May God do so to you and more also, if you hide anything from me of all that he told you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. Then he said, “It is the Lord; let him do what seems good to him.”
(The entire story can be found in I Samuel 3:1-21)
REFLECTION: “ARE YOU LISTENING?” From ReForming Spiritual Reflections
Hannah kept her vow, and gave her son Samuel to God’s service. Samuel was placed under the care and training of Eli, Israel’s priest and judge. It was during this time, when Samuel was still a child, that God began to speak to him. Samuel’s first message from God was quite sobering. Samuel was to announce to Eli God’s punishment on Eli’s two wayward sons, who were abusing their priestly authority and desecrating the sacrificial offerings.
God’s message to Eli was that he is the Rock. His values are unchanging. We can build our lives on them. Unlike us so often, Eli was willing – even eager – to hear a word from the Lord, even when the message was hard to hear. Even when it meant that those he loved were called out for punishment. Eli loved God more.
God called to Samuel – three times. The first two times that God spoke to Samuel, the boy thought he heard the voice of Eli. The third time God spoke, Eli understood and instructed Samuel to say, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
How often are we so busy that we don’t slow down enough to truly listen for God? How can we learn to recognize his voice? It took Samuel a couple of times to recognize God’s voice, and only with help did he know how to respond. Consider taking 10 minutes for the next few days, find a quiet place without distractions and think on Samuel’s response. “Here I am.” It took Samuel several attempts, so be patient with yourself. God will come.
PRAYER. Here am I, Lord. Here are we. Help us want to listen for your voice. Help us make the time and space to hear you. Give us ears to hear like Samuel, a yearning for you like Hannah, and a willingness to hear your words like Eli. Help us to hear what you have next for us. Thank you that you are our unchanging Rock, a solid foundation upon which we can base our lives. AMEN.
TAKE A MOMENT OF SILENCE as you close.