Reflection and Sunday Service 14 Jan

  a green cross motif 14 Jan 2017

a wee reflection on the week ...



Whatever our thoughts about our government it must be a difficult job to select a cabinet, and perhaps it seems, even harder when you are trying to reshuffle it.  A reshuffle appears like a little bit of tinkering while paying back a few debts owed. There is pressure on a Prime Minister so much more now to have a balance of ministers representing gender, leavers and remainers, culture, ethnicity, geography, and background, while, of course, some still feel it is at its heart run by an elite and unrepresentative group.  But however it is achieved, it is a task require some skill and discernment. 

It is grounded in the vision the PM and the current government have and who best to fulfil that vision while having a broad view offering critique. Not too much critique of course or nothing gets done …!!!

A PM must be able to see gifts in people that they may offer, are fully aware of, or perhaps keep a little hidden.  A good leader recognises the gifts and offers opportunity for flourishing of these gifts.

Of course, even after careful selecting and calling, some will not last the pace, some may well make errors requiring resignation or dismissal, some may excel expectations and challenge at the next leadership election, while some may even betray the leader and stab her in the back.  The risk of leadership of course. But we can only trust that a leader sees in another the gifts we may not fully recognise or even applaud.

We might wonder about Jesus’ own discernment when calling followers and choosing his leadership team. After all, a few did excel, a few were never heard of again, while one betrayed him.  But that was the risk of offering a group of strangers the opportunity to grow and excel and realise their potential.  He believed that within each person lies the image and imprint of God, and all he could do was offer them the experiences through which they might recognise that and release it.

Have a read through Psalm 139, and begin to sense that God created each one of us, knows us through and through, and that we are loved and valued.  That is the beginning of recognising our worth, and that when Jesus calls us he can see the potential even when others or even when at times we may not.


this sunday’s service


1 Samuel 3.1-10, (11-20); Psalm 139.1-6,13-18; 1 Corinthians 6.12-20; John 1.43-51


1 Samuel 3:1-10                 The Lord Appears to Samuel

3 In those days, when the boy Samuel was serving the Lord under the direction of Eli, there were very few messages from the Lord, and visions from him were quite rare. 2 One night Eli, who was now almost blind, was sleeping in his own room; 3 Samuel was sleeping in the sanctuary, where the sacred Covenant Box was. Before dawn, while the lamp was still burning, 4 the Lord called Samuel. He answered, “Yes, sir!” 5 and ran to Eli and said, “You called me, and here I am.”

But Eli answered, “I didn't call you; go back to bed.” So Samuel went back to bed.

6-7 The Lord called Samuel again. The boy did not know that it was the Lord, because the Lord had never spoken to him before. So he got up, went to Eli, and said, “You called me, and here I am.”

But Eli answered, “My son, I didn't call you; go back to bed.”

8 The Lord called Samuel a third time; he got up, went to Eli, and said, “You called me, and here I am.”

Then Eli realized that it was the Lord who was calling the boy, 9 so he said to him, “Go back to bed; and if he calls you again, say, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went back to bed.

10 The Lord came and stood there, and called as he had before, “Samuel! Samuel!”

Samuel answered, “Speak; your servant is listening.”


1 Samuel 3:11-20

11 The Lord said to him, “Some day I am going to do something to the people of Israel that is so terrible that everyone who hears about it will be stunned. 12 On that day I will carry out all my threats against Eli's family, from beginning to end. 13 I have already told him that I am going to punish his family forever because his sons have spoken evil things against me. Eli knew they were doing this, but he did not stop them. 14 So I solemnly declare to the family of Eli that no sacrifice or offering will ever be able to remove the consequences of this terrible sin.”

15 Samuel stayed in bed until morning; then he got up and opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli about the vision. 16 Eli called him, “Samuel, my boy!”

“Yes, sir,” answered Samuel.

17 “What did the Lord tell you?” Eli asked. “Don't keep anything from me. God will punish you severely if you don't tell me everything he said.” 18 So Samuel told him everything; he did not keep anything back. Eli said, “He is the Lord; he will do whatever seems best to him.”

19 As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him and made come true everything that Samuel said. 20 So all the people of Israel, from one end of the country to the other, knew that Samuel was indeed a prophet of the Lord.


Psalm 139:1-6 & 13-18      God's Complete Knowledge and Care

139 Lord, you have examined me and you know me.

2 You know everything I do;

    from far away you understand all my thoughts.

3 You see me, whether I am working or resting;

    you know all my actions.

4 Even before I speak,

    you already know what I will say.

5 You are all around me on every side;

    you protect me with your power.

6 Your knowledge of me is too deep;

    it is beyond my understanding.

13 You created every part of me;

    you put me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because you are to be feared;

    all you do is strange and wonderful.

    I know it with all my heart.

15 When my bones were being formed,

    carefully put together in my mother's womb,

when I was growing there in secret,

    you knew that I was there—

16     you saw me before I was born.

The days allotted to me

    had all been recorded in your book,

    before any of them ever began.

17 O God, how difficult I find your thoughts;

    how many of them there are!

18 If I counted them, they would be more than the grains of sand.

    When I awake, I am still with you.



1 Corinthians 6:12-20        Use Your Bodies for God's Glory

12 Someone will say, “I am allowed to do anything.” Yes; but not everything is good for you. I could say that I am allowed to do anything, but I am not going to let anything make me its slave. 13 Someone else will say, “Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food.” Yes; but God will put an end to both. The body is not to be used for sexual immorality, but to serve the Lord; and the Lord provides for the body. 14 God raised the Lord from death, and he will also raise us by his power.

15 You know that your bodies are parts of the body of Christ. Shall I take a part of Christ's body and make it part of the body of a prostitute? Impossible! 16 Or perhaps you don't know that the man who joins his body to a prostitute becomes physically one with her? The scripture says quite plainly, “The two will become one body.” 17 But he who joins himself to the Lord becomes spiritually one with him.

18 Avoid immorality. Any other sin a man commits does not affect his body; but the man who is guilty of sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourselves but to God; 20 he bought you for a price. So use your bodies for God's glory.


John 1:43-51       Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael

43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come with me!” (44 Philip was from Bethsaida, the town where Andrew and Peter lived.) 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one whom Moses wrote about in the book of the Law and whom the prophets also wrote about. He is Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”

46 “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Nathanael asked.

“Come and see,” answered Philip.

47 When Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, he said about him, “Here is a real Israelite; there is nothing false in him!”

48 Nathanael asked him, “How do you know me?”

Jesus answered, “I saw you when you were under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

49 “Teacher,” answered Nathanael, “you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”

50 Jesus said, “Do you believe just because I told you I saw you when you were under the fig tree? You will see much greater things than this!” 51 And he said to them, “I am telling you the truth: you will see heaven open and God's angels going up and coming down on the Son of Man.”




There is a chain of testimony from John the Baptist to Philip and then Nathanael, with people inviting others to ‘come and see’ Jesus and to begin following him. Following Jesus has implications for our lifestyle, which Paul unpacks with his description of the body as a ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’ (1 Corinthians19).  John indicates there is a real sense of community in following Jesus, as the disciples discover together. This is echoed in 1 Samuel, where the young Samuel needs Eli’s guidance to respond to God and, in turn, the message Samuel hears will spur old Eli on to serve God more faithfully, if he isn’t too complacent to change. Eli and Samuel need each other to grow. In a similar way, we are a community of calling encouraging one another.  When was the last time we invited someone to “Come and See”?

The Psalm for today, 139, is one of the greatest of Psalms and most beautiful of poems speaking of the intimacy between an individual and the creator.  It is about being known and loved by God who knows us through and through.

Each of our readings today indicates something about a reticence within us to believe that we are loved, valued, and that God in Jesus would call the like of us into his community.  Well God does!  Come and See!

a prayer

Here I am, Lord:

your servant.

Speak to me, for I am listening;

show me, for I am looking;

act, for I am waiting.


I want to be attentive to you;

I am listening,


waiting for you.


Come, Lord Jesus,

and I will follow.






The Reflection and Sunday Service is taken from the weEbulletin which the minister emails each week to those interested whether or not they belong to the church. If you wish to be on the mailing list please let the minister, Stewart McPherson know.

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