For lent and Easter 2022, I’m writing six duologues between Samuel and other people in the Bible, all on the theme of living with conflict. The prophet Samuel, now deceased, converses with a series of guests in paradise, reflecting on their past experiences and what it was to live with conflict. All posts in the series are listed here.
In this, the sixth and final scene, he finds himself standing with Jesus outside the Philistine city of Beth-Shan, after Saul and his sons were defeated in battle. They talk about Saul’s life, the silence of death and the dead.
Continue reading Living with conflict: A duologue between Samuel and Jesus
With today’s letter I come to the end of my series on the great ‘cloud of witnesses’. It has very much surprised me, especially in the last few weeks as I’ve worked my way through the judges of Israel.
Continue reading Freedom to serve: a letter to Samuel
Servants wait to be called. But children approach anyway.
Christians often share their stories about how they’re living out their faith. Many of these are filled with hope and fresh ideas, fitting for our time. But there’s a phrase I’ve heard so many times, “I realised this was what God was calling me to do.” The emphasis is on finding God’s will.
We talk negatively about our own will much of the time. We acknowledge that God is a loving God, so we can trust his call will enliven us. But our will has to be couched within his will.
And… on one level, I get this. I believe God is good. I want his will to be done on earth because I know he’s unselfish and wise. I get that. I’m not interested in doing anything outside of God’s will.
But… I find it dissatisfying when the search for “God’s will” consumes our life of faith. It’s like “the Calling” becomes more important than what God wants to achieve through that calling.
Continue reading Christmas 2020: Week 2, Day 2: Children