Season of the Church Year: Common Time/ “Great Green Growing” Season (green)
Story in Scripture: 1 Samuel 3:1-21
The story of Samuel is a beautiful illustration of patience, provision, and sacrifice. Although Hannah desires a child of her own, she must wait and wait for many years until Samuel is born. In fact, during the time that she is praying and hoping for a child, she prays so fervently, that a temple priest, Eli, worried that she was not well. When Samuel is born, Hannah and her husband Elkanah decide to dedicate him to the Lord. They bring him to the temple to be taught and guided by Eli in prayer, study, and care for God’s people and the ark of the covenant. You may share with your children that he was sort of like an apprentice. In our lesson with the children, we explored the experience that Samuel had in which God called him audibly and directly. Samuel responds to God and expresses, “Speak, God, for your servant hears.” What follows is not easy. Eli dies, there are terribly battles, the ark is lost…. Much later, Samuel appoints Saul to be king, and then later appoints David, Jesse’s youngest son and an ancestor or Joseph, who will one day help to raise our savior Jesus. What a big and glorious story it is! One of the most significant aspects of Samuel’s story is that he and his mother are dedicated to listening to God and doing HIS will, even if it is not exactly how they might have thought things should or could be. This lesson in submission to God takes a lifetime to learn!
Guiding Questions for Discussion:
(Note: These are the usual questions that are asked after Old Testament character studies.)
Now I wonder which part of the story you liked best?
I wonder what part is the most important?
I wonder what part is about you…. Or what part was especially for you?
I wonder what the story of Samuel and his family might be teaching you?
“Dear Father, I know that you understand everything and know what is best for each of us. Thank you for caring for us and blessing us with so much each and every day. Help me to listen carefully for what you share with me. Help me to do what is right and bring glory to you through my decisions. I love you and am glad that you will walk along with me in all I do. Amen.”