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Minister's letter for 2 June

Dear Friends,

(1 Samuel 3:10 "Speak, for your servant is listening")

What is it like to hear God's voice?

I wonder how many of us have had a similar experience to Samuel, hearing our names called? Perhaps it was more subtle through the words of others or through experiencing creation around us. It may even be through feelings or intuition that we are being prompted by God?

We do have the Holy Spirit ever present in the whole of our lives, a promise given and fulfilled by Jesus in the aftermath of his death, resurrection and ascension. And there will be occasions when we will have no cause to doubt that the Spirit is guiding us. But for the majority of the time, we have to practise listening and being aware of God's spirit working through us and around us.

For Samuel, God spoke to him at a time when people had got out of the habit of listening to God or expecting God to speak. Unsurprising then that it took a couple of attempts before Eli realised what was happening and could direct Samuel in the best way to respond.

Today we live in a 'noisy' world – there are many calls on our attention – do we expect God to still speak to us? More to the point, do we intentionally listen for God's voice?

Because God is still speaking in our world – God is speaking and calling each of us. That thought or feeling that persists within us, the hints and clues that we see or hear or feel all around us, stirring us into a response.

Samuel listened to God, and some of what God had to say was uncomfortable and difficult to hear and act on, yet Samuel obeyed and would become known throughout the land as God's prophet, playing an integral part in the formation and growth of God's people.

With a General Election planned for July our world is going to get noisier and smaller, as we focus in on our national and local issues. So let us take this time to practise intentionally listening for God's call, whether it is loud and clear or a whisper, let us discern with each other the promptings that we sense and let us encourage and hold each other in prayer when we are challenged with difficult tasks after hearing God speak.

May we have the courage to respond to God's call, "Speak, for your servant is listening".

Every blessing

Rev Karen

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