Hearing The Call
It was lovely to be back in the church this week and to hear the lessons and music in the beautifully renovated space. While we enjoyed our time in the Anchor Gym, it was especially meaningful for us to return to our sacred space together.
This week, the lesson came from the book of Samuel, and one particular line resonated with me. It came from the story of Samuel’s hearing God’s call to be a prophet for the first time. The writer begins by saying, “In those days, the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.” He goes on to describe God calling to Samuel several times, and each time, Samuel mistakes the voice he hears for his mentor Eli, and he wakes him in the middle of the night to find out what he wants. (It sounds a little like a small child with a bad dream. I remember those nights!) Finally, Eli realizes what is happening, and he is able to give Samuel directions on how to respond to the Lord.
But it’s that opening line that evokes something in me, a sense that in the world that Eli and Samuel occupied, most people were concerned with themselves - the rush of their daily lives, the pressure of securing enough food for their families, and the worry about staying alive in a difficult environment. They earned their living by the sweat of their brow. In some ways, it is not far removed from modern times with all the technology that pushes its way into our consciousnesses, the fast pace of modern life, and the challenges the new economy of the 21st century brings to our world. Like Eli, Samuel, and their contemporaries, we don’t hear of many visions sent by God.
This, I believe, is the value of our Episcopal school. In this hurried and fractured world, we regularly make time to slow down and reflect on the lives we are living and the meaning we are creating with them. So while our children don't see visions in Chapel (at least that I know of!), in the midst of a busy world, they are given time to pause. They hear a message that reminds them God loves them. They have a chance to think about serving others, and this year, more than ever, a chance to serve with their classmates. They are reminded that life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?” And having the chance to think and reflect, they are better equipped to answer that question throughout their lives.
Head of School