“The Calling of God”

Second Sunday After the Epiphany
Psalm 139:1-18

You have looked deep
into my heart, Lord,
    and you know all about me.
You know when I am resting
    or when I am working,
and from heaven
    you discover my thoughts.

You notice everything I do
    and everywhere I go.
Before I even speak a word,
    you know what I will say,
and with your powerful arm
you protect me
    from every side.
I can’t understand all of this!
Such wonderful knowledge
    is far above me.

Where could I go to escape
from your Spirit
    or from your sight?
If I were to climb up
to the highest heavens,
    you would be there.
If I were to dig down
to the world of the dead
    you would also be there.

Suppose I had wings
like the dawning day
    and flew across the ocean.
10 Even then your powerful arm
    would guide and protect me.
11 Or suppose I said, “I’ll hide
in the dark until night comes
    to cover me over.”
12 But you see in the dark
because daylight and dark
    are all the same to you.

13 You are the one
who put me together
    inside my mother’s body,
14 and I praise you because of
the wonderful way
    you created me.
Everything you do is marvelous!
    Of this I have no doubt.

15 Nothing about me
    is hidden from you!
I was secretly woven together
    out of human sight,
16 but with your own eyes you saw
    my body being formed.
Even before I was born,
you had written in your book
    everything about me.

17 Your thoughts are far beyond
    my understanding,
much more than I
    could ever imagine.
18 I try to count your thoughts,
but they outnumber the grains
    of sand on the beach.
And when I awake,
    I will find you nearby.

1 Samuel 3:1-10

The Lord Speaks to Samuel

1-2 Samuel served the Lord by helping Eli the priest, who was by that time almost blind. In those days, the Lord hardly ever spoke directly to people, and he did not appear to them in dreams very often. But one night, Eli was asleep in his room, and Samuel was sleeping on a mat near the sacred chest in the Lord‘s house. They had not been asleep very long when the Lord called out Samuel’s name.

“Here I am!” Samuel answered. Then he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. What do you want?”

“I didn’t call you,” Eli answered. “Go back to bed.”

Samuel went back.

Again the Lord called out Samuel’s name. Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am,” he said. “What do you want?”

Eli told him, “Son, I didn’t call you. Go back to sleep.”

The Lord had not spoken to Samuel before, and Samuel did not recognize the voice. When the Lord called out his name for the third time, Samuel went to Eli again and said, “Here I am. What do you want?”

Eli finally realized that it was the Lord who was speaking to Samuel. So he said, “Go back and lie down! If someone speaks to you again, answer, ‘I’m listening, Lord. What do you want me to do?’ ”

Once again Samuel went back and lay down.

10 The Lord then stood beside Samuel and called out as he had done before, “Samuel! Samuel!”

“I’m listening,” Samuel answered. “What do you want me to do?”

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