Tag Archives: prophet Samuel

Blind/Not blind

1 Samuel 16.1–13
John 9.1–41

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.—C. S. Lewis


In the readings we heard today from 1 Samuel and the Gospel of John, we find one striking similarity: people are talked about as if they are not there. Instead of speaking to them, people act as though they are somehow invisible.

The disciples talk about the man born blind:

Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?

His neighbours talk about him:

Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?

Finally, he speaks himself:

I am the man.

It reminds me of that line in the film The Elephant Man, where he has had enough of being treated like an object of fear and pity:


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Christ in you (Epiphany 2, Year B, 18 January 2015)

1 Samuel 3.1–10
1 Corinthians 6.12–20
John 1.43–51

I want ask a question today, a simple question: where do we need to be to listen to God? (Short answer: In the house of God.)

We are commissioning Katie today for her role  as coordinator of the Orphans and Vulnerable Children’s Project in Mwandi, Zambia.

I think I can safely say that she hasn’t determined to go there so much by screwing up her eyes and trying hard to believe she can do it as by listening for that ‘still, small voice’, which speaks so calmly, gently, tenderly, persistently, and insistently. That Voice that just doesn’t give up.

But where do we hear that voice? We need to be in the house of God to hear it.

We talked about the voice of God last week. According to Mark, Jesus hears God say,

You are my Son, the Beloved. With you I am well pleased.

We talked about how we miss out on hearing that Voice, because—

Our own inner voices, perhaps accusing voices, drown it out. The sounds of politicians and advertisements and newspaper publishers drown it out.

We need to be in the house of God to hear it. We miss it because we are not ‘in’ when it calls.

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What do you see? (Lent 4A, 30 March 2014)

1 Samuel 16.1–13
John 9.1–12

I believe in God as I believe the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.

CS Lewis

Amazing grace (how sweet the sound!)
that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
was blind, but now I see.

John Newton

When you look, what do you see?

In his quest for Israel’s next king the prophet Samuel went to Jesse’s place in Bethlehem. Jesse had eight sons; Samuel first saw Eliab, a fine, strapping young man. He would make a fitting king for Israel! After all, a king had to be worthy of respect from his men. Samuel liked what he saw.

But God saw things differently. God said to Samuel:

Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.

As he went through the list, looking at one son after another, I can imagine that Samuel may have started to doubt this whole enterprise. Perhaps he wondered if he were really on a wild goose chase.

Perhaps there was a note of exasperation in his voice when he asked Jesse, ‘Are all your sons here?’

The youngest was left, the runt of the litter. Good-looking, but just a kid.

This was the one. Who’d have guessed?

‘The Lord does not see as mortals see …’

So how does the Lord see? Continue reading

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