1 Samuel 2:22-4:22; John 5:24-47; Psalm 106:1-12; Proverb 14:30
Speak Lord, Your Servant is Listening!
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.–John 5:24
The emphasis in the readings today is on hearing the Word of the Lord. The text tells us that the young Samuel did not yet know the LORD, and so he did not recognize God’s voice when He called him. The priest Eli served as an evangelist to young Samuel to explain that the calling he was receiving was not from man but from God. Samuel was so eager to be attentive to his master Eli. “Here am I!” Yet it was the voice of God that required his attention. Eli rightly teaches the young prophet to pray: “Speak LORD, your servant is listening.”
This is a simple prayer that any of us can learn to pray: “Speak LORD, your servant is listening.” Often our prayers come with many words; however, it is in the silence that God calls us by name. Are we aware of His communication? Do we know the LORD? Do we recognize when He calls us personally? Do we make time to listen?
Notice how Eli teaches Samuel to listen to the LORD in the posture of a humble servant. One of the reasons that the Jewish leadership in the Gospel passage from John struggled with truly giving Jesus their focused attention is arrogance and skepticism. In refusing to listen to Jesus, they sadly refused the salvation and the life that was being offered to them in Him. True hearing comes from a posture of humble service toward the LORD. “Speak LORD, your servant is listening.”
Our call is to hear His words and believe His words. In hearing and believing, God grants eternal life. The voice of God is calling to us in many ways. Are we listening for His voice? He speaks His word through the prophets, through the Scriptures, and in the last days through His Son, Jesus. He speaks to us today through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. Pray humbly and simply, “Speak LORD, your servant is listening.”
The Rev. Charlie Holt
The Church of St. John the Divine