Friday, June 22, 2007

The Persistence of God: Prevenient Grace

I have long given thanks for God's persistence in calling people into action to bring about God's Kingdom. In my own life, God has time and again called me to worship, to follow, and to serve God. God's Grace is ever-present, and sticks to us like fly-paper, theologians call this "Prevenient Grace," (going back to Augustine of Hippo) ... God's action in our lives moves alongside us and is wrapped up in our lives. God's persistence in calling Samuel is clearly evident in this morning's reading from the Scriptures in the Daily Office:


1 Samuel 3:1-10

Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD under Eli. The word of the LORD was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.
2 At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room;
3 the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was.
4 Then the LORD called, "Samuel! Samuel!" and he said, "Here I am!"
5 and ran to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you called me." But he said, "I did not call; lie down again." So he went and lay down.
6 The LORD called again, "Samuel!" Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you called me." But he said, "I did not call, my son; lie down again."
7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, and the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.
8 The LORD called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you called me." Then Eli perceived that the LORD was calling the boy.
9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, "Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, 'Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.'" So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 Now the LORD came and stood there, calling as before, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening."

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