Samuel was confused. He heard a voice and thought it was his mentor, Eli, calling for him. He kept going to Eli’s room until it Eli realized that the voice was God trying to get Samuel’s attention. Listening for God is an important life skill, and God is not silent. We live in a noisy culture that often speaks in ways that are contrary to God’s voice. It can be difficult to hear God if we are more in tune with the voice of this world. As we listen for God, we will be more in tune with his leading in our lives. Eli mentored Samuel by teaching him how to respond to God’s voice: “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening”—in other words, “I am ready to hear what you have to say, and I am ready to obey!” God speaks to us in many ways. He speaks through creation, giving testimony to his faithfulness and creativity. He speaks through his Word, where we come to understand his salvation and purpose for us. He speaks through wise mentors in our lives. He speaks through life situations, opening and closing doors. God speaks by his Holy Spirit, equipping us with gifts and passions to use for service in his kingdom.
Thoughts: “Dove” rhymes with “love” and often does in bad poetry. At some (expensive) weddings, doves are released to flutter over the wedding party.
Doves coo. They do not squawk or chirp. Doves are small and white, with little and dainty feet. They do not have hooked beaks and fierce talons.
Doves symbolize peace. When Noah released a dove from the ark, it returned to him with a green leaf in its beak – a welcome sign that the flood waters were receding.
Doves also symbolize sacrifice. When Joseph and Mary took Jesus to the temple for his ritual circumcision, Mary presented two doves for the required sacrifice after the birth of a child.
All four gospels tell the story of Jesus’ baptism. All four tell us that after his baptism, the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove.
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