Church of England Diocese of Birmingham St. Matthew with St. Chad, Smethwick

2nd Sunday of Epiphany

2nd Sunday of Epiphany - 17th January 2021

Readings: 1 Samuel 3v1-10; Psalm 139v1-9; Revelation 5v1-10; John 1v43-end

Let us pray: May the words of my mouth and thoughts and meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in thy sight O lord, our strength and our redeemer. Amen

A word from Lucy: The old testament readings about the child Samuel ministering to the LORD in the temple under the guidance of Eli, feels like challenges and warnings to me as minister of the Church. The first challenge is that in the early days of Temple worship, children were involved in ministry. This warns me to accept and support the children that God calls into His service as ministers. The second challenge is to be mindful that it is not enough to teach children to read their Bibles, say their prayers and join in worship. They warning to me is to teach everyone that God may present himself to us at any time. The third challenge is to remember that God does many and varied things in each generation and people need to be told this. The warning is that, even if it seems that God has been silent for years, God can speak to us at any time and we need to recognise this when it happens. The final challenge is to prepare people to respond positively when God calls us by name so that we are able to reply: ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’ As a minister I believe that God calls each one of us by name for the psalm teaches that God searches us out and when he does there will be no hiding place because God can go anywhere and everywhere. I also believe what the psalm says about God knowing us inside and out, with all our possibility. The reading from the Book of Revelation tells us that the lamb gave his life for us so that we can be made into a Kingdom of priests serving God. By his death, the Lamb also opened for us the gates of heaven. An amazing place full of angels and heavenly creatures singing songs and playing music. A place where God’s throne can be found where the Lamb of God, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David is worshipped and thanked for liberating God’s people from every tribe and language and people and nation. So we must be ready when he meets us face to face and calls us, just as Jesus called his disciples in the gospel. For I believe that if we respond to the call of God to ‘Follow me’ and like the disciples not only follow but also tell others to ‘Come and see’ that like the disciples we shall also see: “ …. heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.’

Let us pray. Heavenly Father,  open our hearts and minds to hear your call then send us out into the world that all the world may be saved, through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.