This week's readings & prayers

Sunday 17th January. Virtual Service from Norbury.

1Samuel 3:1-10

The young lad Samuel, the assistant to the blind old priest Eli at the holy shrine in Shiloh, is puzzled by a voice calling him in the night. He is reassured by Eli and answers God’s third call to him.

Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.

At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ and he said, ‘Here I am!’ and ran to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call; lie down again.’ So he went and lay down. The Lord called again, ‘Samuel!’ Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call, my son; lie down again.’ Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, ‘Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” ’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’

John 1:43-51

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, ‘Follow me.’ Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.’ Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’ When Jesus saw Nathanael coming towards him, he said of him, ‘Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!’ Nathanael asked him, ‘Where did you come to know me?’ Jesus answered, ‘I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.’ Nathanael replied, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’ Jesus answered, ‘Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.’ And he said to him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.’

Something to think about.

The theme of God’s call to individuals is an important one in both Old and New Testaments. Philip is not mentioned in the other gospels, but he answered the call of Jesus and brought his friend Nathanael to see him, as later in the gospel he brings some Greeks to meet Jesus (Jn.12:22). Nathanael was initially sceptical but was persuaded by Jesus’s powers of observation about himself. Jesus’s final comments relate to the story of Jacob’s dream at Bethel (Gen.28:12)

Next week's readings (17th January) .

Revelation 19:6-10

John 2:1-11

Collect

Eternal Lord, our beginning and our end:

bring us with the whole creation to the glory hidden through past ages

and now made known in Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Prayer after Communion:

God of glory,

you nourish us with your Word who is the bread of life:

fill us with your Holy Spirit

that through us the light of your glory may shine in all the world.

We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Please remember in your prayers this week:

Members of our congregations unable to attend today.

Those who are sick or suffering, especially those with long-term illness.

The recently bereaved.

The effects of the coronavirus outbreak: people who are worried, ill or bereaved.

Our local churches, as they face up to the problems of the future.