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'Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.' 

Something to read

Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, 'Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening." ' So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

- Full reading – 1 Samuel 3:1-9.

Something to think about

I've never been very good at visions. I'm a scientist, and I believe in things that I can see, things I can prove. And I get the feeling that the boy Samuel was a bit like this – he heard a voice and believes his senses.

He assumes that it must have been Eli, his teacher. It takes the wisdom and experience of the older man to get him to listen with his heart rather than his head.

We live in a confused and confusing world. Some of the population seems to be committed to nothing but rationality – the world of the scientists – where nothing is real unless it can be proved.

Others seem to be deep in a pick and mix spirituality filled with crystals, spirits, pseudoscience healing, and even aliens. Like Eli's time, 'the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.'

We need to pick a path through these beliefs – see the rationality and sense in science, but be aware that there is a spirit-filled life as well, the spirit and guidance of God.

There are indeed 'more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy' (Hamlet act 1, scene 5). We need to listen.

Something to do

Spend some time listening today, to the birds, to the soundscape of where you live, to someone who needs to talk, or just to the silence. And through all this sound and silence, try to hear the voice of God.

Something to pray

God of compassion, in your sight cities, states, and economic systems rise and fall. In our age, we feel distress. We can easily despair. The powers-that-be appear beyond conversion. The cities and states and economic systems in which we are embroiled appear barbarous and murderous.

Save us from despondency. Open our hearts to the hope that change might come. Ground our love for your lovely world in the needs of the many animals and plants and human creatures that surround us.

We need your judgement, but remind us always that your judgement is a component of your salvation. Where we have turned from your way, help us to return and repent. Guide us with your light and truth through Jesus Christ our Lord.



Today's contribution is adapted from an original contribution from Suzanne Elvidge, a writer who specialises in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, technology, business and ecological issues.