I found each of the five bible readings to be very different in context, but all with the same underlying messages about faith, belief and calling which gave me plenty to reflect upon - reading each one a few times in fact.
It's an old habit, but I always try to put myself into the shoes of the person a particular situation relates to and try to image what I would do - and did for all of these. I wonder if anyone else does the same?
So for Abram for instance, being asked to leave everything behind that he knew - his country, family, friends and at the age of 75 (shows it is never too late!) and his total faith in God's covenant to him and his family.
For Samuel, at a time when the words of the Lord were rare, his vision not widespread (indeed he thought initially it was Eli calling him) - again the strength of his faith and calling comes through, with none of the Lords words falling to the ground after this.
With Mary, hearing from the angel Gabriel how the Lord is with her and not to be afraid at what must have been quite unsettling for her to know that she was bearing a son who would be called Jesus despite being a virgin.
I wonder what Peter must have felt like when Jesus asked him to cast his nets once more despite having done that all night and not caught anything. I may have been slightly sceptical myself, and you can read how he reacted when the fish were caught in abundance considering himself a sinful man for not believing. Yet, for Peter his calling from Jesus - "do not be afraid for you are now catching people"
Lydia's reading resonated for me in particular - it's a short passage, but shows how she was listening "The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly" - what does it take for ones heart to be opened by the Lord - it made me reflect on the importance of just listening and opening yourself to the Lord and what he has to say - that's sometimes all it takes I think.
My overall reflections from these readings - God's calling to us is a part of a journey we are all on, some people have a very clear idea on their calling from early on, and for others it takes time to be recognised and then develop. Those in the readings were people just like us, who must have had some doubts and concerns about their calling from the lord, but ultimately put their faith in God as we all surely do eventually.
Would love to hear what others think about these readings.
Hi Phillip, what you've written really resonates with my own thoughts. Our own journeys all have some connections which each of these callings. I thought the story of Abraham also tells us that it's never to late to listen and respond. Lydia's story stands out to me because she had no doubts or misgivings. I don't think most of us are like that. I certainly have my doubts. I think we can us our questions to develop our understanding and grow.