1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20)
Prop: Print out the picture below and show while telling the story (optional)
I want you to think about something this morning. Let's say you are playing with your toys in your bedroom, and your brother or sister or babysitter is in the next room, and that person wants to get your attention. She or he would usually call out your name, right? Something like, "Lucy! Could you please come here for a minute?" Or maybe you're outside playing in the yard and it's starting to get dark. Your mom or dad may call to you saying, "Justin! Time to come inside! Dinner's ready!" Or maybe you've had your dinner and brushed your teeth, and you're watching your favorite TV show. When it's over, you might hear someone who loves you call your name, "Kathy! Liam! Bedtime! Let's read some stories!"
You hear your name called, then the person calling your name usually has something they want you to do--get cleaned up, do a chore, come to the table to eat, get ready for bed, do homework, help the person who called in some way.
The Bible tells us about a boy named Samuel. Samuel lived with the priest, Eli, and helped Eli with his work. Together they took care of the Temple and all of the religious work that went on there--kind of like Pastor Mike and Pastor Donna (of course, insert your pastors' names here), do for us in our church. One night while Samuel was sleeping, he heard his name called, "Samuel! Samuel!" So Samuel went into Eli's room and said, "Here I am! You called me." Eli said, "I did not call you! Go back and lie down again."
So, Samuel laid down again. Before long, he heard his voice called again, "Samuel!" Samuel got up again and went to Eli and said, "Here I am, for you called me." Eli again said, "Samuel, I did not call you! Go back to sleep!" So, Samuel went back and laid down again.
A third time, Samuel heard his name called, "Samuel!" A third time, Samuel went to Eli and said, "Here I am!" But this time, Eli finally figured out what was happening. He realized that it was God who was trying to get Samuel's attention! So, Eli told Samuel to go back to his bed and lie down, and if he heard his name again, to say, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening."
That is exactly what happened. Samuel went back to bed, and before long, he heard his named called once more, "Samuel!" But this time, Samuel was ready. He answered, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening." God called Samuel because there was very important work God needed Samuel to do. Samuel became God's prophet and shared God's messages with the people of God. He led them for many years, helping them to follow God and helping them to know that God cared about them and wanted what was best for them.
God calls each of us to help with the work of the Church. God wants us to let others know that we are all loved by God and we are all special to God.
Let's pray together:
Dear God, We thank-you for your servant, Samuel. We are glad that he answered your call and was willing to be your prophet. Help us to answer "Yes," when we are asked to share in the Church's ministry of caring and sharing with others. In Jesus' name, Amen.