By: Sid Imes-Burkett
1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26
Reflection—v.26, ‘Samuel continued to grow’
The Bible has a lot to say about how worship should work. Worship is serious business. Samuel doesn’t quite fit these rules. Numbers says that priests can start work at age twenty-five, but here, Samuel is so young that his mom sews him special, child-size temple clothes. This is especially unusual because people in the ancient Near East didn’t think of children like we do today. Kids were basically property and weren’t taken seriously. This was true in Jesus’ time, as well, which makes it super weird that Jesus came to earth as a baby. Jesus spent years and years before his formal ministry as an ‘unvalued’ child. Nonetheless, this was when Jesus’ community taught him how to be in the world and do his ministry. Even Jesus needed to learn from his community. Just as Samuel and Jesus learned and grew, we get to continue learning and growing. We don’t have to wait until we feel like priests or have all the right clothes—we do this by studying scripture and worshipping in our communities here and now. Samuel’s work began long before he heard a voice in the night, just as Jesus began ministering a long time before baptism. No matter where we might be, we are valued and called here and now. And we don’t do it alone. Samuel got help from his family, from his priest, and the Bible says that he grew in favor ‘with the people.’ Learning and worshipping
are serious business, and they’re for all of us.
Prayer: Lord, we thank you for coming to us as a child and teaching us that we all deserve support and the opportunity to participate in worship.