Second Sunday after the Epiphany: 1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20); Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; John 1:43-51
God is restoring His glory among His people.
The call of Samuel is a vivid example of what God can do in the lives of children. Samuel’s early response to God set in motion a whole process of events leading Samuel to become ‘a prophet of the Lord’ through whom ‘the Word of the Lord… came to all Israel’ (1 Samuel 3:10; 1 Samuel 3:19-4:1). Let us ground our children in Christ, encouraging them to have great expectations of what God can do in and with their lives as they grow up, loving Him. The people of Israel were ‘defeated’ by the Philistines. The greatest tragedy of this defeat was the ‘capture’ of ‘the ark of God’: ‘The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured’ (1 Samuel 4:10-11, 22). We may lose ‘goods, honour, children, wife’ (Church Hymnary, 406). The glory of God among His people – We must not lose this!
God is leading us on to His eternal glory.
Through Christ our Saviour, we are led ‘in the way everlasting’: ‘God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son’ (Psalm 139:24; 1 John 5:11). God’s great purpose of eternal salvation seems ‘too wonderful’ – ‘too good to be true’! ‘It is a thing most wonderful, almost too wonderful to be, that God’s own Son should come from heaven and die to save a child like me, and yet I know that it is true…’ (Psalm 139:6; Church Hymnary, 385). God has a glorious future planned for us. We can hardly even begin to take it in: ‘Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.’ We know that ‘no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him’ yet we rejoice in this: ‘God has revealed it to us by His Spirit’ (Psalm 139:6; 1 Corinthians 2:9-10). ‘Lead me in the way everlasting!’ (Psalm 139:24).
We glorify God when we remember that we were bought with a price.
The Lord has placed the highest value on us: ‘you were bought with a price’ (1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Corinthians 7:23). Our love for Him must be stronger than any other love. Some are under pressure, at home, from an unbelieving husband or wife. You wonder whether your Christian witness is doing any good (1 Corinthians 7:16). You feel you are getting nowhere. You feel like giving up. You feel yourself being dragged away from the Lord. What does the Word of God say? – ‘Lead the life which the Lord has assigned’; ‘Remain with God’ (1 Corinthians 7:17, 24). A difficult situation at home is just one example of ‘the world’ trying to ‘squeeze us into its own mould’ (Romans 12:2). The world will keep chipping away at our faith – until there’s nothing left. ‘Do not love the world or the things in the world… He who does the will of God abides for ever’ (1 John 2:17).
We glorify God when we are transformed by the power of His grace.
Andrew brought his brother, Simon Peter, to Jesus (John 1:40-42). ‘You are… You shall be…’ (John 1:42). Jesus looks beyond what we are now. He sees what we will become through the transforming power of His grace. The ‘water’ became ‘wine’ (John 2:9). This was the Lord’s doing. In Christ, we have been ‘made alive’. This is the work of God. He is ‘rich in mercy’. He loves us with a ‘great love’ (Ephesians 2:4-5). At a wedding, Jesus rejoices with those who rejoice (John 2:1-11). In the temple, He rebukes those who are proud (John 2:13-17). There was ‘death’ in the temple. Those who were spiritually ‘dead’ acted in complete disregard for the true purpose of God’s House – ‘My House shall be called a house of prayer’ (Matthew 21:13). ‘Raised from the dead’, we receive ‘new life’ (John 2:22; Romans 6:4). Be real with Jesus. He will bless you (23-25).
The Bible Readings are taken from the Revised Common Lectionary – Year B.