Our readings this week, the Second Sunday after Epiphany, are all about being called (and not the ring-ring type of call, although, who is to say that God couldn’t do it that way). As you read the lessons, think about any feelings of being called in your life. Did you ignore God’s call or did you follow through?
1 Samuel 3:1-10 (11-20) – To get the background on this story, please read 1 Samuel 1 and 2. There is lots of intrigue in those two chapters. There is competition between the two wives of Elkanah, Hannah, who has no children, and Peninnah, who has several. And the two sons of the priest Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, are wicked and God will not let them follow in their father’s profession. A miracle happens and Hannah give birth to Samuel whom she dedicates to the Lord by giving him to Eli when he is weaned. Which brings us to this reading. What was not happening in Israel? What is the matter with Eli? What does Samuel hear and what does he do? What is Eli’s response? How many time did this happen? What was Eli’s final instruction and what happened to Samuel? What did Samuel become as he grew up?
Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 – I am not sure why the Lectionary Committee left out verses 7-12 because they fit very well with the other verses. I can certainly understand why they left off verses 19-24 because the Psalmist asks the Lord to destroy the wicked. In verses 1-6, what does the Lord know and do? In verses 7-12, where can the Psalmist go to avoid the presence of God? In verses 13-18, what did and will God do for the Psalmist and what is his response?
1 Corinthians 6:12-20 – As I read through this passage I couldn’t quite figure out what it has to do with being called. I suppose that when we are called by God and we follow our entire being, heart, mind, soul, and body, should be dedicated to God. What is the primary concern of Paul in this paragraph? To whom does our body belong? What happens when we are united to the Lord? What should our bodies be for the Lord and why?
John 1:43-51 – We should really read verses 35-42 in conjunction with these verses and my questions will include them. In verses 35-42, where is the location of the action? What does John the Baptizer proclaim about Jesus? Two of John’s disciples follow Jesus, one named and one unnamed. Who is the named disciple? Who is his brother? What did the first brother say to the other? What did Jesus rename the second brother as? Look at the notes in your Bible. What does that new name mean? Who did Jesus encounter on the next day (verse 43)? Who did this person go to get and what was their relationship? What did Jesus say of this new brother? What was the conversation between Jesus and this new brother? What are the names of the four named disciples?
How has God called you? What did or what do you say in response, “Here am I” or “What good comes out of Nazareth?”
May you hear God’s call once again this week!