We’ve all had those nights when our minds won’t shut down and allow us to get to sleep, or we wake up and wonder about some stupid thing that our mind dug up for us to ponder in the middle of the night.
In the Old Testament lesson for Sunday, I Samuel 3:1-10, neither the young man Samuel nor the old priest Eli get much sleep. The guilty part is the Lord. We are told that the word of the Lord was rare in those days as were visions. So, the Lord decided to correct that problem in the middle of the night. The Lord seems to like to work the night shift. Consider Jacob, or his son Joseph who dreamed dreams, to say nothing of Joseph, Jesus caretaker/father. We dare not forget those shepherds blasted awake by the heavenly host with their birth announcement.
In our lesson Eli and Samuel are sleeping in the temple at Shiloh, when Samuel heard a voice calling his name. “Here I am,” he answered. He thought Eli, who was mostly blind, needed something. Three times this happened. Finally, Eli figured it out it was the Lord. He instructed Samuel how to answer.
The fourth time, the Lord came and stood by Samuel and called him. Samuel answered as Eli had instructed him, “Speak, lord your servant hears.”
That’s a good prayer for us, to pay attention when the word is read in worship instead of looking around to see who is at church.
I’m going to try to get some sleep now.