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“Crisis always comes with opportunity,” suggests the Chinese pictogram. How this relates to the current ascension of the greed of the few and the corresponding upward spiral of cost to the many is elegantly demonstrated in this video clip:

Human history seems to reveal a default trend of societies devolving from the most altruistic ideals to the rule of a powerful elite. There will always be a counterforce of opportunity to redress the balance.

This was no less true in the biblical accounts of the development of Israel as she sought to move from tribal confederacy to monarchy so that they could be “like other nations.” The move to monarchy and its attendant dangers was inevitable. What was also inevitable was a “holy subversion” to keep such dangers in check. The call of Samuel as the first in a long line of prophets related to Israel’s monarchy begin a tradition of strong interface between the natural human inclination to power and control and the bigger picture for the common good.

The nuances of the latter are pointed out in the involvement of “the least” elite. Commenting on the call of Samuel while still a young boy, the Rev’d Dr Keith Rowe (With Love To The World) says:

An easily overlooked group become vehicles of newness – an elderly mother, a near blind priest troubled by the anti social behaviour of his sons, and a fragile child with acute spiritual sensitivity.

When despairing over the latest revelation of greed and abuse of power in high places, look for the Samuels and Hannahs in our midst. There are the opportunities. There lies our hope