Friday, January 13, 2006

Children's Message, 1 Samuel 3:1-10--Calling in the night

Children’s Message
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Calling in the night—1 Samuel 3:1-10

Today’s Old Testament reading is the call of Samuel, from the book of first Samuel. I love this passage—it is one of my favorite stories. In the story, Samuel hears his name being called again and again while he is sleeping. He thinks it must be his teacher, Eli, but with his teacher’s help he soon realizes that it is God calling him.

I love this story, but I also worry about this story. See, if you read it, you might think that the only way that God calls people is in that sort of “Old Testament” way with a big booming voice that would shake the walls, or at least wake a young boy from a sound sleep. But I don’t think that we are all as lucky as Samuel was. We all don’t get a big booming voice and a wise teacher to help us understand. Sometimes, God just sounds like a half a bag of Doritos.

I love Doritos. Love ‘em! In fact, I love them so much, that if there is a half bag of Doritos in my house, there is very little I can do to keep from eating them all. If I’m watching TV, they call to me. Vacuuming?? There is a little cool ranch voice saying, “eat me!”. And to be honest, they just don’t stop calling to me until I have gobbled every last one up. Now, I don’t get special bags with voice boxes in them or anything. And If you set up a tape recorder in my kitchen, no one else would be able to hear it, but there is just something inside of me that knows that they are there, and that I want them.

And when God’s calling us, I like to think that it is much the same. We know in our head and our heart that there is something that we should do, and until we do it, we can’t quiet those thoughts. Most of us aren’t lucky enough for a burning bush or a choir of angels or a voice in the night, so we have to work even harder to listen for those things—perhaps those messages from God—that we just can’t get out of our mind.

Let’s pray: Loving God
Thank you for the many ways
That you speak to us.
Help us to always listen
For your word to us. Amen.

**With thanks to the Rev. Alice McDowell for her idea that God sounds like chocolate, which was inspiration for this children's sermon idea!!


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