1 Samuel 2:18-20,26 – Samuel was ministering before the Lord, a boy wearing a linen ephod. His mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year, when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, "May the Lord repay you with children by this woman for the gift that she made to the Lord"; and then they would return to their home. Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favour with the Lord and with the people. (NRSV)
Luke 2:52 – And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favour. (NRSV)
The date on our calendar and our readings both tell us to prepare for God's future.
The Old Testament reading does it by following the early life of Samuel, promised to God for future service. The New Testament reading does so by following the early life of our Lord who was taken to the temple to prepare him for the role he was to play in the unfolding drama of salvation history. The world would never be the same because of him and what he did to change the future.
We celebrate that changed future every time we look at a calendar — as history itself divides at his coming. We celebrate that changed future as we celebrate the opening of the third millennium in honour of that coming. Even the purists now agree that the third millennium of the Messiah has arrived!
Here's how we prepare for God's future:
Psalm 148:13 – Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven. (NRSV)
Prayer: Help us, loving Lord, to prepare for the future you have for us by growing up into our faith and following the example of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.