This is the text of Rev. Graham Crawford’s Sermon for the Morning Service at St James on 18 January 2015.
As I hope you will recognise as this sermon progresses, the readings from the lectionary for today could not be any more apt considering the recent developments within the Church of Scotland.
The situation in Israel at the time of our reading from Samuel was this:
The temple, which was actually little more than a series of tents at this time, was in Shiloh.
There resided the Ark of the covenant and therefore the priests, descendants of Aaron, who served the Lord in the Temple.
The chief among the priests was Eli, who was by this time a fairly old man.
As the priesthood was a hereditary affair, his two sons were also priests.
However, instead of seeing the priestly status as a responsibility, they saw it as a privilege to be used and abused.
When their father was not watching, they would take the best meat from the offerings to God and eat it themselves.
They would sexually harass and abuse young women who came to worship.
They were abusing their position whenever possible, believing that they were untouchable.
As we shall see from our scripture lesson this morning, nothing could have been further from the truth. [Read more…]