Not Rare at All

The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread. … The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. – 1 Samuel 3:1,8 (NRSV)

When we believe something is lost, we eventually stop looking for it. In the same way, if we believe the word of God is rare – scarce, infrequent, extraordinary, miraculous, a thing of the past, or reserved for a select few – we are inclined to stop listening for it.

When we struggle to notice God speaking or God acting, we may think God has abandoned us or that there is no God. We might conclude that we are on our own. Then we might do whatever we please, but without true pleasure, because we are alienated from the ground and source of our being.

But what if the voice of God – the gospel word of extravagant love and wide-open doors, the bedrock promise of tender mercy and life abundant – is not rare at all?

What if God is actually communicating to us all the time, in everything from a baby’s first laugh and a bird’s sweet song to the chants of Black Lives Matter protestors, the agony of Covid-19 deaths, the faith of immigrants in sanctuary, the storming of the U.S. Capitol, and everything in between?

For how long has God been calling us in the night? For how long have we been hearing voices, only to settle back into our lives and go back to sleep? What does it take to get our attention?

Praise be for a still-speaking, still-calling God, a loving, persistent presence who just keeps knocking at the door, waiting for us to answer.

Thank you for all the ways you still speak to us. Give us ears tingling to hear and hearts eager to love.

Small Group Discussion

About the Author
Vicki Kemper is the Pastor of First Congregational, UCC, of Amherst, Massachusetts.