Returning God's Call

Sunday, January 20, 1991
| 1 Samuel 3:1-10

This week''s text challenges individuals and your church community to examine how they respond to the persistent voice of God in their lives.

From Presbyterian author and editor John C. Purdy comes the title and story that inspired this week's sermon ideas. Purdy recalls that in The Blue Mountains of China (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970), Canadian Mennonite/English Professor/author Rudy Wiebe tells the story of a Mennonite farmer named Sam Reimer. One night Sam hears a voice saying to him, "Samuel, Samuel ... I am the God of your fathers, the Lord your God. Go and proclaim peace in Vietnam." In perplexity, Sam goes to his pastor, who tells him to listen for the voice a second time. The next night the call comes again, but Sam cannot get anyone to believe that he has truly heard God's voice. His pastor won't believe it; neither will his wife or his fellow Mennonites. The Canadian government won't give him a visa to Vietnam; the inter-Mennonite Church Service Society won't help him. Sam's reaction to these rebuffs is to give up hope and die. On his deathbed he says to his wife, "When I heard the voice, I should of gone. Left ...

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