Lection Connection

January 17, 2021: Coming Through the Night

From Joan Kessler


At time of writing, the news of the day circles around Canadian politicians returning from vacations spent out of the country. Media outlets have covered the return of government representatives in Ontario and Alberta who defied public health advisories and made decisions to travel. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney defended the actions of his municipal affairs minister, Tracey Allard, and other political staffers, but also admitted that his directive around travel rules was less than clear. Public trust has been noticeably shaken as Canadians were asked to spend the Christmas season at home and to refrain from travelling for non-essential purposes.


This story highlights the importance of leadership and the need for clear communication when it comes to helping citizens understand and cooperate with public health directives. With the vaccine program being rolled out, we begin to see a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, but in the meantime, we must remain vigilant.


This Sunday we hear the story of God’s call to Samuel, in the middle of the night. How different this story might have unfolded had it happened during the light of day with so many things to distract to Samuel. Darkness in this story serves as a place of deep listening and thoughtful response. Samuel’s willing “Yes” despite the many unknowns is our epiphany for this Sunday.


Coming through the night, darkness leads to light. Our call to leadership has inevitably been changed and reshaped during these Covid times. Our communication and actions are, like those of politicians, held to a higher standard. As we come through the darkness of virus and isolation, may we take solace in the reminder we do not have to have all things figured out, but consistency is a good and worthy objective. May we experience a renewal of our desire to serve, perhaps in the quiet of the night, and respond with our lives, “Here I am.”


Explore…1 Samuel 3:1–10, (11–20)

  • What has been your experience of darkness this past year?
  • How has your sense of call been affirmed or challenged during the pandemic?
  • How can we help our faith communities maintain patience for public health restrictions?



Calling One, do not give up on us if at first we do not respond. Seek us in the darkness that surrounds us and awaken us to that which you have called us to do. Amen.


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