Updated: Dec 9, 2020
It is week 2 of our season of ADVENT! Watch worship this week on Facebook Premier or on our website launched on Sunday mornings. Don’t miss Children’s Sunday School at 10:00 with the zoom in the newsletter as well as Adult Sunday School (zoom link in the newsletter). There is a lot more information on the website, in our newsletter, and highlighted below! Stay connected, invite your friends, share our worship with others. Together, let us prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus.
This week in worship we will talk about the story of a woman named, Hannah.
Maybe we should start by asking the question, who is this – Hannah?
Hannah was the wife of Elkanah. We learn in 1 Samuel that he was from a respected family who worshipped at Shiloh. In verse 5, we learn that he loved his wife, Hannah. But Elkanah had two wives, Peninnah and Hannah. Peninnah had already provided Elkanah with male heirs which was expected of a woman at that time and in that culture. Elkanah and Hannah prayed, sacrificed, and prayed again and again for decades. Alas, they did not have a child. While they prayed, Peninnah tormented Hannah and Hannah cried to the Lord. She told her husband how she has poured out her soul before the Lord (vs 15). She shared with him how she had great anxiety and stress all the time (vs 16) yet she remained faithful.
She surrendered her greatest fear, a fear that was attached to the status of her worth in her context of that time, she was afraid being “less than enough.” For decades she had channeled her fear and worry into faith that God was with her.
In verse 20 we learned that Hannah indeed gave birth to a child, a male child, named Samuel, whose name means, “God heard.”
The meaning of Hannah’s story isn’t about asking God for something and eventually getting it. That is called a wish list and a manipulation prayer. Our story isn’t about motherhood, although Hannah proved to be a devoted mother. What Hannah did was, in her time, practice her faith boldly and reverently with a hope that God heard her prayers. In her thanksgiving, she did one more thing: she dedicated her son to the temple to be raised as a priest. This son, Samuel, would someday anoint the first king of Israel, Saul. He would one day, tell Saul that he was no longer favored in God’s eye and a new king, Kind David would take his place.
Hannah’s story is crucial to the family story of Jesus. Why? Hannah witnessed to us with a humble heart, a dedicated heart, an aching heart, a faithfulness in God. Hannah prepared her heart, devoted her prayers and, without a doubt, took on a burden that would one day be a blessing for the all the tribes of Israel. Without Hannah, there is no Samuel. Without Samuel, there is no anointing of a King David. Without King David, there is no line of Judah from which the infant child, Jesus, is born. Thank you, Hannah, for your story is part of our story and of God’s story of grace for all people.
What is heavy on your heart today? Together we pray, Lord have mercy.
What is your fear today? Together we pray, Lord have mercy.
What is your challenge today? Together we pray, Lord have mercy.
What joy is in your heart today? Together we say, Lord we give you thanks!
Into your hands we give all of our prayers as we pray in your name Jesus Christ, Amen.
Blessings to you always,