Second Sunday after Epiphany- Week of January 17, 2021
Begin your devotion time by praying this prayer: Loving God, you call us by name to share your love and light. Help us listen for your voice and learn about your love. Amen.
Reflect on the Way of Love together: This week’s practice in the Way of Love is LEARN. In this story, Samuel learns to listen for God’s voice. What do you think listening for God’s voice teaches us? How might you hear the voice of God in your life right now?
Adult and Small Child
Read: 1 Samuel 3:1-10
Reflect: Are you a good listener? Being a good listener takes practice. In this story, Samuel learns how to become a better listener when he hears God’s voice. At first, Samuel doesn’t know that God is the one who is calling his name! But, after talking to a trusted adult named Eli, Samuel learns that God is the one speaking to him. Samuel just had to pay attention so he could listen to what God said.
We also listen to and learn from the things God says to us, and this happens in many ways! We hear what God says by reading stories in the Bible, or listening to the trusted adults in our lives who teach us about God’s love. Sometimes, we might even hear God call our name in the quiet, just like Samuel! But, in order to be a good listener, we have to pay attention to the world around us.
Respond: Practice your
listening skills this week. If weather allows, take a walk outside and listen
to what is going on around you while you walk. If you are unable to walk outside,
practice listening to all of the sounds inside your home. See if you can be
silent for thirty seconds and hear quiet sounds, too! What did you learn about
your surroundings while listening? How do you think you heard God’s voice?
- Victoria Hoppes
Adult and Elementary
Read: 1 Samuel 3:1-10
Reflect: When you go to sleep at night, do you dream? What was the last dream you had? Was it wonderful, or a nightmare? Did it seem too good to be true? Or did it feel really real to you? Sometimes when people dream, they forget when they wake up. But every once in a while, they will remember. Surprisingly, the dream will come back to them. Perhaps they will remember everything that happened but often, it is just a little bit of memory. It can be kind of confusing, like trying to put a puzzle together but you don’t know what the puzzle is supposed to look like.
God calls to each of us as God called to Samuel in our Bible reading. God has a dream for each of us. And, the amazing thing is that God never forgets the dream even if we do. Reading stories in the Bible like the one about Samuel can help us see the big picture of God’s story. It helps life seem less like a confusing puzzle and more like somewhere we fit in and belong.
Respond: Make a “Dream Mobile.” You will need:
- Craft glue
- Cotton balls
Draw a large cloud shape, cut it out, write in the center, “God’s Dream” and glue cotton balls around the text. Draw and cut out four smaller clouds. Write the following phrases on each of the smaller clouds: “My dream for myself…” “My dream for my family...” “My dream for my school...” and “My dream for the world...” Write responses to each statement on the clouds. Tape four pieces of yarn on the large cloud and tape other ends to smaller clouds. To hang you may want to tape somewhere or punch a hole and tie yarn through it.
- Patrick Kangrga
Adult and Youth
Read: 1 Samuel 3:1-10
Reflect: If you are familiar with the Old Testament, you know that God spoke directly to God’s people all the time. God talked with Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and many others. In the story before us, it has been many years since we have seen God speaking directly to anyone. Does that mean God wasn’t there? Of course not. The real question is whether or not we are still listening? This story tells us about a boy named Samuel who received a calling from God. It is important to know that Samuel was very young during this time. Most likely, he wasn’t even a teenager when he was awoken in the middle of the night. He doesn’t immediately realize it’s God. At first, he thinks it is his teacher and mentor Eli. I’m sure you, just like me, have been woken up in the middle of night from a dream or heard a certain noise. Imagine how Samuel was feeling at this moment.
I know there are so many things right now that are making us feel overwhelmed and weary. When the world gets heavy, so do our emotions. It can be harder and harder to see God in our midst. But today we must learn that what God is calling us to do is stay awake. Not literally (that would be impossible!) Instead, we can keep our hearts and minds and ears open to hear God’s calling. God may be speaking to you and me, every day. But it is up to each of us to be ready to listen.
Respond: When do you find it hardest to listen? When you are surrounded by people or in a crowded place? I feel like my best thoughts, ideas, and clarity on hard decisions comes to me when I am falling asleep at night. Maybe it is because that is when I am most calm and at peace. This week, find a moment of peace and quiet to just think and listen. Go for a walk outside, sit in silence for a moment in a quiet space, or take a nap. Listen to what or where God may be calling you next.
- Lauren Wainwright
Adult and Adults
Read: 1 Samuel 3:1-10
Reflect: One of Scripture’s
most common themes is God calling people who society respects the least to
serve as messengers. In the case of Samuel, because he is a child, even he
doesn't believe that God could be calling him at first. Our own time is not
that different. While we revere children for their cuteness and their
innocence, we don’t tend to look to them when we want to know what God has to
say to the world. As a Christian educator, I find that children’s lack of
inhibition often leads them to be the ones who are most able to hear what God
is saying. What was your faith life like as a child? If you have children in
your life, what do you know about their faith lives? How might you carry this
information into your life today?
Respond: Spend some time this week talking with the children in your life about their faith (if you don’t have children in your life, ask your priest or the Christian education/faith formation staff from your congregation to connect you with a family that you can speak with.) Ask them about the stories of Christmas, Epiphany, and Jesus’ baptism. What do they think is most important about those stories? Why do they think Jesus came to be with us? Pray with them and give thanks to God for their wisdom.
- Jessica Davis