6

Follow Him No Matter What

Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the LORD
where the ark of God was.
The LORD called to Samuel, who answered, “Here I am.”
Samuel ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. You called me.”
“I did not call you, ” Eli said. “Go back to sleep.”
So he went back to sleep.
Again the LORD called Samuel, who rose and went to Eli.
“Here I am, ” he said. “You called me.”
But Eli answered, “I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep.”

At that time Samuel was not familiar with the LORD,
because the LORD had not revealed anything to him as yet.
The LORD called Samuel again, for the third time.
Getting up and going to Eli, he said, “Here I am. You called me.”
Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the youth.
So he said to Samuel, “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply,
Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.”
When Samuel went to sleep in his place,
the LORD came and revealed his presence,
calling out as before, “Samuel, Samuel!”
Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

Samuel grew up, and the LORD was with him,
not permitting any word of his to be without effect.

1 Samuel: 3: 3-10

 

The Old Testament reading today ends too soon.  The most impressive part is just after this passage where the Lord tells Samuel what He is about to do, which is to doom the House of Eli because Eli knew his sons were blaspheming God by their actions and he did not reprove them.  Samuel tells Eli this bleak prophecy.  Eli has served God all his life and now he learns that his family will be blotted out by God.  Rather than rage against God and accuse Him of injustice, Eli says:

“It is the LORD. What is pleasing in the LORD’s sight, the LORD will do.”

We are ever ready to accept blessings from the Hand of God and ever ready to avoid the chastisements He might send us.  This of course is a very human reaction and it is also a very wrong reaction.  God is All Just, just as He is All Good and All Loving.  From His hands we receive only good, no matter how bitter that good may be in mortal terms.  Here below in this fallen world we discern God dimly, our wits befuddled by sin.  In the next world perhaps all may be made plain.  Perhaps not.  Perhaps God will give the same answer to our queries as He did long ago to a question in Judaea:  “What is that to Thee?  Follow thou Me!”.  Our duty is to follow Him, not to follow our own doubts and folly.

 

 

9

And to Amend My Life

Chaplain: I think it’s up to each one of us to interpret what God wants.

Dying Doctor: So people can do anything? They can rape, they can murder, they can steal, all in the name of God, and it’s ok?

Chaplain: That’s not what I’m saying.

Dying Doctor: What are you saying? Because all I’m hearing is some New Age, God is love, one-size-fits-all crap! I don’t have time for this now!

Chaplain: I understand.

Dying Doctor: No, you don’t understand! You don’t understand! How could you possibly say that? No, you listen to me. I want a real chaplain who believes in a real God and a real hell.

ER:  Atonement-Season 14, Episode 13

 

 

 

David Griffey at Daffey Thoughts brings us the above video which powerfully explains why cheap grace saves absolutely no one.  God is all Just and all Merciful and when we forget either of those attributes we are lost indeed.

3

Liberty and Justice

Barry Goldwater long ago ceased to be a hero of mine after the revelation that back in the fifties he had paid for an abortion for one of his daughters and his open embrace of abortion after his retirement.  However, he was certainly a hero of mine as I watched the Republican convention in 1964 on television at the age of seven.  I do not recall his speech, but I do recall watching every minute of the convention with rapt attention.  Goldwater’s acceptance speech was not a great speech, Goldwater admitting himself that he was no great orator.  It will always be remembered for two phrases:  extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

Harry Jaffa, perhaps the foremost expert on the political thought of Abraham Lincoln, wrote the phrases for Goldwater, although Goldwater, bizarrely, claimed that the phrases were written by Cicero when the lines came under attack.  Jaffa recalls helping to write the speech:

I wrote that statement, in part, as a repudiation of the critique of extremism that was made by Rockefeller and Scranton witnesses before the [platform] committee. Sometimes these things get out of hand.  They are like letters you do not intend to send.  But they blow out the window and somebody picks them up and they are delivered.  And this one was delivered to the Senator, who fell in love with it and ordered that it be incorporated in his Acceptance Speech, and it led to my becoming the principal drafter of the speech.  And, there it was.  It was not my political judgment that the thing be used in the speech at all, although I must say that I was flattered at the time and didn’t think too much of what the consequences would be. . .  The Senator liked it because he had been goaded by mean-spirited attacks through the long months of the primaries.  Nothing in the political history of the country surpasses in fundamental indecency the kind of attacks that were made on Goldwater by Nelson Rockefeller and his followers. . .  But I was not asked for the extremism statement; I had written it as an in-house memorandum, and it was appropriated.  I’m not making an excuse for myself in saying I wasn’t responsible for it.  I was certainly enthusiastically in favor of it at the time. Continue Reading

17

Pope Benedict Warns Against Marxist Liberation Theology