Last night our church conducted the fourth of five nights of our annual Vacation Church School. The week's theme is "We Want a King," and last night we learned about Samuel and how God called him out of a slumber and how Samuel had a special purpose in anointing Israel's first king--Saul. In 1 Samuel 3, Samuel answers God with three simple words, "Here I am." This peculiar call and response happens in three's as so many important "God-talks" occur in scripture. "Here I Am"--these are the same words uttered by Moses before the burning bush(Exodus 3:4) and Isaiah at his call to prophecy (Isaiah 6:8). The words are so utterly different than the way in which Adam cowers from God who comes to find him when all Adam can say is "When I heard your voice, God, I was afraid and I hid" (Genesis 3:10). "Here I Am"--these three simple words, which give a location and then the simplest of subject-verb clauses, these three words are so similar to the words God uses for God's self in Exodus 3:14 when he tells Moses his proper and mysterious name. God says, "Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh" or "I Am Who I Am." At least in part, it is as if Samuel, Moses, and Isaiah answer God in the affirmative by the simple utterance of God's name.
When God calls you, will you have the courage, despite your greatest fears, to say, "Here I Am. Send Me"?