Readings for Sunday 14th January

The Old Testament reading is taken from the first book of Samuel, chapter 3, verses 1-10

The Lord calls Samuel

The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.

One-night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called Samuel.

Samuel answered, ‘Here I am.’ And he ran to Eli and said, ‘Here I am, you called me.’

But Eli said, ‘I did not call; go back and lie down.’ So he went and lay down.

Again the Lord called, ‘Samuel!’ And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, ‘Here I am; you called me.’

‘My son,’ Eli said, ‘I did not call; go back and lie down.’

Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.

A third time the Lord called, ‘Samuel!’ And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, ‘Here I am; you called me.’

Then Eli realised that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, ‘Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’

Then Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’

Baptism reading from Luke 5


James and John were fishermen.  Their father owned a fish shop in Jerusalem, with a big sign outside saying, ‘Zebedee and Sons – Fishmongers.  By appointment to King Herod.’  One night, the two brothers were fishing on Lake Galilee.  Their friend, Peter, was in his boat nearby.  ‘We’ll race you to see who can catch the most’ they yelled across to him.

So they threw their nets out and watched them sink into the water.  After waiting an hour, they pulled them in.  They could not believe their eyes – not a single fish.  They threw the nets out again and waited another hour.  ‘This time, there’ll be plenty’ said James.  But, when they pulled them in, they were empty.

So they threw the nets out a third time and waited.  Again, they pulled them in.  Still nothing.  They had never known a night like it.  ‘I haven’t caught a thing’ yelled Peter.  ‘Neither have we’, they replied.  ‘We’ll be here all night’.  

Again, they threw their nets out.  It started to rain.  ‘I’m cold and  miserable’ moaned John.  ‘Let’s go home’.  ‘We can’t go home empty-handed’, said James.  ‘What would Dad say?  And Peter would laugh at us!’  So they carried on.  They fished all night but did not catch a thing.  At sunrise, they headed for home, thoroughly fed up.

Just as they got to the shore, they saw Jesus.  ‘Catch anything?’ he asked.  ‘I could do with a bite to eat for breakfast’.

‘Sorry, said James, ‘We didn’t catch a thing’.  

‘Try throwing your nets out on the other side,’ said Jesus.  ‘What difference can that make?’ thought John, sulkily.  ‘Anyway, what does he know about fishing? – he’s a carpenter’.  But they did what Jesus said anyway.  Back they went and threw their nets overboard again.  ‘It’ll never work,’ said John.

‘Pull them in’ yelled Jesus.

‘Give the fish a chance to swim into them!’ cried James.

‘Pull them in’ Jesus insisted.  So they did – or at least they tried to.  James gave a great big tug and nearly fell overboard.  John grabbed him by the ankles and pulled.  But the net was so full of fish, they could not lift it on board – in fact, it was pulling the whole boat down.  Finally, they managed to drag the net ashore.

‘Looks like we work well together!’ said Jesus.  ‘I’d like you to join my team’.

‘That’s fine by me!’ said Peter and they all agreed.

‘Good’ said Jesus.  ‘But first – let’s have breakfast – there’s plenty here!’

In fact, there was more than enough for second helpings.

This is the word of the Lord

® Thanks be to God