“Everybody who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise builder who built a house on bedrock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the wind blew and beat against that house. It didn’t fall because it was firmly set on bedrock.”
— Matthew 7:24-25 (CEB)

Dear Friends,

It’s official. Our church will be closed tomorrow. As much as I hate to cancel services on Sunday morning, the storm forecast is pretty clear. The white lights are flashing a snow emergency in all the intersections and plows will no doubt be working all night and through much of tomorrow. Like many of you, I’ve been watching the predictions all week, and the needle hasn’t moved much. We talked it over at the Church Council meeting on Tuesday and I’ve just spoken with Peter to confirm. I hope you will all stay home, stay warm and dry, and maybe set aside a few minutes to have your own time of devotions.

If you are so inclined, the scripture reading for this week was to be from First Samuel 3:1-12 (Common English Bible)

Now the boy Samuel was serving the Lord under Eli. The Lord’s word was rare at that time, and visions weren’t widely known. One day Eli, whose eyes had grown so weak he was unable to see, was lying down in his room. God’s lamp hadn’t gone out yet, and Samuel was lying down in the Lord’s temple, where God’s chest was. The Lord called to Samuel. “I’m here,” he said. Samuel hurried to Eli and said, “I’m here. You called me?” “I didn’t call you,” Eli replied. “Go lie down.” So he did. Again the Lord called Samuel, so Samuel got up, went to Eli, and said, “I’m here. You called me?” “I didn’t call, my son,” Eli replied. “Go and lie down.” (Now Samuel didn’t yet know the Lord, and the Lord’s word hadn’t yet been revealed to him.) A third time the Lord called Samuel. He got up, went to Eli, and said, “I’m here. You called me?” Then Eli realized that it was the Lord who was calling the boy. So Eli said to Samuel, “Go and lie down. If he calls you say, ‘Speak, Lord. Your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down where he’d been. Then the Lord came and stood there, calling just as before, “Samuel, Samuel!” Samuel said, “Speak. Your servant is listening.” The Lord said to Samuel, “I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of all who hear it tingle! On that day, I will bring to pass against Eli everything I said about his household—every last bit of it!

I’ve always found this an interesting story about the calling to ministry. I’d also share with you this poem about…

“The Extravagance of God.”

Have you ever thought about the extravagance of God?
More sky than we can see,
More sea than we can sail,
More sun then we can bear to watch,
More stars than we can scale,
More breath than we can breathe,
More yield than we can sow,
More grace than we can comprehend,
More love than we can know.

May your Sunday morning be warm, relaxing, and spirit-filled. See you next week.

Yours in Grace,
Rev. Kevin

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