What do you want?

What do you want?

1 Samuel 3:3-10,19 & John 1:35-42

This isn’t a battle or journey that you take completely on your own. When you turn to Jesus, Jesus will turn to you and say, what do you want?

[automatically transcribed]

I thought that reading of our first reading today where’s Jackie, I’ve lost her- there you are! I thought that was fantastic. I thought it was fantastic. The first time I read that scripture, I could picture Samuel so clearly in my mind, I could just see him lying in bed and hearing Simon, Samuel, sorry, Samuel and going, Yes, master, here I am.

No, no, no. Go back to bed. I didn’t call you. So he goes back to bed, frustrated that his master is calling him Samuel. Samuel. Yes, Master, what can I do for you? I didn’t call you go back to bed. Now, come on. You’re going to be a little bit irritated at this point, aren’t you? And so he goes back to bed and a third time. Samuel. Samuel.

Yes, Master. What can I do for, you? No, Samuel? I’m not calling you. But then Eli Eli, in his wisdom, understands what’s going on. Well, if it’s not me calling you Samuel, it must be God. And so if you go back to bed and God calls you again, answer, here I am, Lord. And so Samuel goes back to bed, probably thinking that his master is, as we would say in Wales, a little bit tup something not quite right with his master.

So he goes back to bed. Samuel, Samuel. Here I am, master, and God speaks to Samuel. Samuel’s heart was opened not by God but by Eli. But God called him. God invited him, but he couldn’t hear that it was God speaking to him. It took somebody else in his life to take hold of his hand and say, this is God speaking to you. Listen to what’s being said. And I often think that is – in the church, we get all caught up in all sorts of models of mission and ministry and how we should do things and how we should go out and how we should bring people to Jesus Christ.

But for me, this is the this is the key thing about being a Christian. If you come to church, you’ve already had your Samuel moment. You’ve already had your moment where you’ve listened to what God has to say to you. So now your job is to help other people hear God calling in their lives, other people who are open to what God has to say to them, but perhaps are just not recognizing that voice in the dark. And who can blame them?

Our lives, our busy, our lives are disruptive, and especially at the moment, how on earth with the clamour of everything that is going on, can you possibly find that moment to hear that voice of God? So it’s our job, it’s our job to take people by the hand and say, listen, listen, this is God speaking to you, say to him, here I am, here I am. And that’s the first step, because what happens next is just as vital.

Because what you have done then is you have pointed somebody to Jesus Christ, just as John in our gospel has done just that. And what you will find is that when you become skilled, when you become better, when you become good at being able to take people’s hands and say, here is God, listen to what he has to say to you as you get better, that people will start to hear will start to listen to what you have to say.

Ah, you go to church, you’re a Christian. You understand this. I’m going to talk to you about this because you understand it. And of course, that’s exactly what John was doing all of those years ago. John had his disciples. He was talking about God and people were listening to him about God. But the moment Jesus arrived, what did John do? He said, there is Jesus, there is the Messiah, the Christ follow him.

So it wasn’t about him. It wasn’t about his ego. It was about Jesus. Everything he did was about Jesus. So the disciples turned towards Jesus and they start up the road towards him. And here’s the amazing thing. Here’s is the phenomenal thing about the gospel today is what it tells us is that God turns to greet us when we search for Godnd, and we when we send people on the road to find God, you’re not on your own.

This isn’t a battle or journey that you take completely on your own. When you turn to Jesus, Jesus will turn to you and say, what do you want?

Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho. Do you grasp the awesomeness of that question, Jesus Christ, turning to you and saying, what do you want? The awesomeness of eternity at your feet, how do you answer? Well, we’re human beings, so some of us will answer that question by saying, God, I want a nice house, I want my family to be safe, I want lots of money, I want to be successful.

I want the good things in life. And you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that answer. No criticism of that answer. But my gosh, you are lowballing it. You are here. Jesus Christ is asking what you want when you follow him. And you are you are asking here, the invitation is up here. What do you want? I want to know you, Jesus, I want to find the peace of your love, I want to understand what I can do to live my life in your footsteps, that at the end of my days I will spend eternity with you.

Now you’re getting there now you’re answering the question, now you’re starting to understand what a relationship with Jesus Christ looks like and feels like and the power it has to change your life. To turn things around, to bring you peace, to bring you a love that will shine so strongly from you that it will change the relationship with everybody around you. That you will point to Jesus Christ, not with eloquent words, but with actions. And with love.

So this week and for all time, have a little think about those two questions, who in your life is God calling that you can say to listen, this is God calling in your life? Listen, Samuel, listen. Here I am, Lord. Who is it in your life? Who is it that you know that as a Christian? You can say God is calling you in your life. And the second question, how would you answer when Jesus turns to you on the road and says, what do you want?

Two of the most fundamental questions of a Christian life, two of the most fundamental questions about understanding our place and relationship with Jesus Christ.