“… The boy, Samuel, served the Lord in the presence of Eli the Priest. … The boy, Samuel, grew in the presence of the Lord. ” It is easy to dismiss the need for church attendance due to the number of well publicised clergy scandals. It is also simple for those who attend to assume their presence in church as the only requirement for spiritual growth. A careful reflection on the early years of Samuel opposes such mistaken points of view.
Eli, the Priest, and his sons were guilty of the most vile forms of greed, immorality, and lack of discipline. Yet, this was the place where the Lord revealed himself to a promised child, prepared him as he grew to a young adult, protected him from the devastation around him, and allowed him to live a very unique life. Samuel was also in a place in mind as he answered, “speak Lord for your servant is listening.” To receive a full revelation, he had to stop seeking a word from a man, but seek the word of God.
It is my prayer this morning that you will look beyond the corruption that is in the church and see that God is there and wants you there in his presence. It is my prayer that once inside of the church, that you will open yourself to listen to what he has to say and then speak it. This is the way of life that offers protection, preparation, and the promise of an abundant life on earth and an eternal life in heaven.
Your Brother in Christ,
Order of Saint-Simon of Cyrene