By Larry Fyffe
What we have here is a failure to communicate.
In his “Metamorphoses”, Roman poet Ovid mocks the gods of mythology for letting their passion over-rule their reason.
Lost while hunting, mortal Narcissus calls out, “Is anyone here?”
Madly in love with the beautiful human, but cursed to repeat only the last few words uttered by others, a mountain nymph replies, “Here”.
Says Narcissus, “Let’s meet together”.
Says Echo, “Together”.
And she rushes into his arms.
Scoffs self-centred Narcissus, “May I die before what’s mine is yours”.
And he runs away from her.
Repeats immortal Echo, “What’s mine is yours”.
And, except for her voice, she hides away in a dark cave.
In the biblical Book of Samuel, a student of a High Priest wakes up, goes to his mentor, and says, “Here I am”.
Samuel thinks it’s Eli who calls out to him when it’s actually the Almighty.
Eli, who has lost touch with God, says to Samuel: “I called not; lie down again”
And he went away and lay down. (I Samuel 3:5)
Eli, the priest, catches on when this happens a third time, but by then it’s too late; Samuel receives a message from God that there’s bad news ahead for Eli and his two pampered, supposed-to-be priestly but wayward, sons.
Sammy reluctantly passes the message on to High Priest Eli.
When God allows the death of Eli and his sons to occur, it turns out to be good news for young Samuel; he gets to take Eli’s place.
The new High Priest goes on to show by setting his own example how all those who, are obedient to God will be looked after by the Almighty:
Who through faith subdued kingdoms Wrought righteousness, obtained promises Stopped the mouths of lions Quenched the violence of fire Escaped the edge of the sword Out of weakness were made strong Waxed valiant in fight Turned to flight the armies of the aliens (Hebrews 11: 33, 34)
The Bible lesson taught through Samuel is not lost in the following song lyrics:
And he was told but these few words Which opened up his heart If you can't bring good news, don't bring any
(Bob Dylan: The Wicked Messenger)
Poor Echo turns into stone.