The example set by Samuel is one of patient trust in the Lord, growing in knowledge and love of God year by year, so that we find favour with the Lord and learn to serve him in holiness and in love of the Christian family to which we are called to belong in faith. At whatever age we come to Christ, we begin like little children, in need of education about the way of life that is appropriate for us, and the values of the kingdom which Jesus has proclaimed. Repentance leads the way to faith, and a share in the holiness of those whom God has called to be saints, transforming the conflicts of this world into a new order of society in which “compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience“ take the place of division and recrimination, as we learn mutual forbearance and forgiveness. When we come to see how much God loves us, and all of his Creation, we have no choice but to be reconciled to one another, and to love one another. It is in this way that we discover the true quality of the peace which Jesus bequeathed to his Church at the last supper, far more profound than an absence of noise or conflict, uniting God’s people in joyful common service of the Lord and of one another.
--The Rev Stephen Trott in the Church of England Newspaper, December 23/30 2012 edition, page 15
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