Rev Dale Skurla “Speak, Lord” 1 Samuel 3:10
1/14/2018 1137 Epiphany 2B Shepherd of the Hills, Prescott, AZ
Law (we do/say) is found in … failure to respond to God.
Gospel (God does/says) is found in … God calling us for His work in spite of our sinful nature.
The single preaching lesson is … Speak. Lord for we are listening.
Introduction: Grace & peace to you from God our Father & our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. Caller ID is great. It lets you know who is trying to reach you, even if you don’t recognize the phone number. Samuel didn’t have caller ID, but Eli finally recognized that God was calling to young Samuel. In 1st Samuel we read: And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel, Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for Your servant hears.” This is our text for this second Sunday after Epiphany.
I. 1 Samuel - “Speak”
A. You are a pre-teen child who hears someone calling your name & only two people are there
B. Obviously, the other person is calling you; happened 3x to Samuel before Eli caught on & …
C. … realizes God is calling Samuel & instructs Samuel how to answer: Speak Your servant hears
D. God spoke, Samuel listened & told Eli after (our reading) a time of wrath for Eli & family coming
E. Why the wrath? In Ch 2, Eli reprimanded but didn’t stop his sons from scorning sacrifices to God
F. Eli’s sons were rude & abusive to the Levites preparing the sacrifices, taking what they wanted
G. God would not put up with desecrating offerings they would have gotten properly as Eli’s sons
II. John – “Speak”
A. Gospel lesson records Philip telling Nathanael we have found the Christ, Jesus of Nazareth
B. Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Nazareth ≡ insignificant town, possibly of ill repute
C. Philip simply says, Come & see. IOW, don’t take my word, come & see for yourself; Nate did!
D. Jesus’ greeting confirmed Nathanael was under fig tree & told Nathanael he would see more
E. Yes, Nathanael would see heaven open & angels ascending & descending on the Son of Man
F. A huge contrast to Samuel hearing wrath, Nathanael saw grace, mercy, salvation
III. Jesus speaks to Us
A. Jesus speaks to us notably in W & S & often speaks thru others pointing the way like Eli & Philip
B. Jesus also speaks thru the Bible & other people who may not realize God is using them
C. Jesus speaks in many & varied ways: a whisper, fire, flood, peace, war, good or bad leaders
D. Sometimes we’re listening or maybe we’re not; other times don’t recognize His words to us
E. In listening we are enlightened; sometimes we don’t recognize how God packaged His Words
F. God always speaks to guide & protect us; we should always be listening for Him
Conclusion: And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel, Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for Your servant hears.” Samuel & Eli, Nathaniel & Philip give us examples of how to react to God’s calling. Ask Him directly to help us know when He is calling us to do certain things. Ask trusted Christians, like a pastor, elder, or one who lives their faith (instead of one who is simply speaking faith) to help clarify an otherwise confusing or perplexing situation. Maybe just ask God: what are you telling me? Or, what am I to learn from this Lord? You might be surprised at what He will tell you. I have been! Thanks be to God for the lesson from Samuel’s innocence. Thanks be to God for Philip’s evangelism & Nathanael’s fact checking. Thanks be to God that He continues to use us in His work so that He would strengthen our faith in Him. To God & to Him alone be all honor & glory this day & forevermore. Amen.