26 November 2021

1 Samuel 2:22-26

Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favour with the Lord and with the people. (v. 26)

Psalm 46


What a contrast!

The priest Eli's sons were living lives of debauchery and wickedness. So much so they were clearly talked about by others who reported what they had learned to Eli. It's not good news and Eli pleads with his sons to change their ways and come back in line with how God wants them to live, but they are deaf to his pleas.

On the other hand, we have the stranger’s child, Hannah’s son, Samuel. He was growing, learning and was loved by the people. He was living the life God wanted and learning the job he was called to hold within the Temple.

Both sets of boys were brought up in the same situation. They learned the same ways of living, served the same God and lived in the same community, but chose to live in two very different ways.

Watching families and meeting people as I do, I am frequently surprised by the manner in which children from the same family can grow up to be so very different from one another in their attitudes, aptitudes, actions and reactions. It is all part of that rich pattern that we call life. It is certainly something that brings variety and surprise and offers us the chance to change and accommodate others in our everyday living, our communities and society.

It also raises the question for me about how I choose to live my life. Is it to be God’s way or the way of the rest of the society in which I live? (Others may perhaps be in a better position to tell you the response to that musing!)

To Ponder:

  • How do you choose to live your life – God’s way or the way of your community and society?
  • Do you need to take another look and are there any changes you need to make?


Lord of all time and space, we face many choices in life. We choose what we say and do and choose how we build relationships with other people. Keep us faithful to the way of love that you show us in Jesus, gracing our lives with your presence, strength, guidance and compassionate caring. Amen.

Bible notes author

The Revd Una McLean

Una is a Methodist minister (presbyter) currently working in Cramlington, Northumberland as part of the South East Northumberland Ecumenical Area. She lives with Patricia her Yorkshire terrier who loves people (but couldn't eat a full one!). Before becoming a minister she worked as an occupational therapist for 20 years in fields as varied as elderly care, adult mental health and paediatrics.

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