Readings: I Samuel 2:1-10; Genesis 17:15-22; Galatians 4:8-20
Today’s readings are full of children: Sarah and Abraham are promised a child, Hannah dedicates her son Samuel to the service of God, Paul likens believers to his children. All this leads to a child in a manger in Bethlehem, the path of words taking us to Jesus.
So much time, energy, and love go into raising children that sometimes the adults forget they aren’t personal possessions. It’s not surprising that sometimes a larger perspective gets lost. How did Abraham and Sarah find the courage to believe they would be given a child? How could Hannah let Samuel go when it took so long for her to have him?
Today’s passages don’t say how Sarah and Abraham did it, but Hannah is a different story. After she brings Samuel to the temple, she sings her song of praise to God. She knew a huge, holy truth: Samuel was God’s beloved child, not just her own. She didn’t give Samuel to God – she gave him back to the one who brought him into being. Hannah had enough faith to give Samuel over to the life God created for him. Such wisdom in love.
Hundreds of years later, Mary would do the same. In faith and trust, she would give her son back. And God would hold him fast.
Come, Lord Jesus, Come.