Samuel heard from the Lord as a child in the care of Eli who was a failed priest, by all accounts, but was also in a position of power and privilege with the added gravitas of longevity and familiarity with the people he served. The word Samuel received held devastating news for Eli. Yet Eli listened and accepted the word from the Lord, even though it was from an untested, untried, novice who had not heard from God before.
To whom do we listen? We have a tendency to seek out voices in power, especially those whom we've heard before. But what are we hearing from the small, unlikely, perhaps untrained margins? Is there a word for us from these unexpected voices?
I've been creating bulletin art for our Epiphany series, A New Thing. This series is focused around the truth that God's creative impulses are imprinted on humanity. Because God invested those gifts in us, God asks us to partner in the work of creation towards a new heaven and a new Earth where all know of their belovedness and justice reigns.
Each week of the series examines the RCL Old Testament readings for specific ideas and actions that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, "create" alongside our Creator and Redeemer. The Sundays are:
A New Thing: God Creates, God's People Create
A New Thing: A Listening People Create
A New Thing: A Connected People Create
A New Thing: A Prophetic People Create
A New Thing: A Humble People Create
A New Thing: A Hopeful People Create