Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Can you hear me now?

Today we get my second favorite call in the Bible, the first being the call of Abram. With Abram, God called and it simply says,"He went." Today we get the polar opposite. Each time God calls Samuel, Samuel knows someone is calling him to do something, but he is repeatedly mistaken about who is calling and why. The good news in the story is that God never gives up on him. God keeps calling until he gets it right. In fact, Samuel never does figure it out on his own. It is Eli who figures out that it is the Lord who is calling. What Samuel does is open is heart to hearing and listening to the advice Eli gives him. Once more we see that faith is not solely a personal/private matter. It's not just me and God, or me and Jesus. Faith is both personal and communal. Even something as intimate as a vocation has both aspects. Left to our own devices, we can miss the call all together, or misunderstand what God is calling us to do. The call of Samuel reminds us that we must open our hearts to listen, not only directly to the voice of God, but also to the many times that God communicates to us indirectly through those around us.