The Change-maker’s Mother
1 Samuel 2: 1-10 (NIVUK)
1 Then Hannah prayed and said:
‘My heart rejoices in the Lord;
in the Lord my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
for I delight in your deliverance.
2 ‘There is no one holy like the Lord;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.
3 ‘Do not keep talking so proudly
or let your mouth speak such arrogance,
for the Lord is a God who knows,
and by him deeds are weighed.
4 ‘The bows of the warriors are broken,
but those who stumbled are armed with strength.
5 Those who were full hire themselves out for food,
but those who were hungry are hungry no more.
She who was barren has borne seven children,
but she who has had many sons pines away.
6 ‘The Lord brings death and makes alive;
he brings down to the grave and raises up.
7 The Lord sends poverty and wealth;
he humbles and he exalts.
8 He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
and makes them inherit a throne of honour.
‘For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;
on them he has set the world.
9 He will guard the feet of his faithful servants,
but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness.
‘It is not by strength that one prevails;
10 those who oppose the Lord will be broken.
The Most High will thunder from heaven;
the Lord will judge the ends of the earth.
‘He will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.’
Amidst all the trials and upheavals of life God stands with the oppressed, depressed and disappointed. As ‘The Message’ puts it: “He rekindles burned out lives with fresh hope”, injustice will not last for ever. Change is coming — get ready. The context of the passage we have just read, is of a corrupt structure of leadership in the community of Israel both at a civil and religious level. The poor are oppressed and hope is lost in the midst of disappointment. Then a prayer is answered. A child is born and Hannah prays a song of thanksgiving. Not only that but she gives her child back to God as an offering of thanksgiving. And the child becomes the change-maker.This is a powerful story in which deep insights into the nature and power of God are found in the prayer that Hannah prays.
When the circumstances of life around us feel bleak and hope has departed, it is at this point God steps in and restores hope beginning with individuals. Hannah’s story tells us God will always have the last word. Disappointed people matter to God.
Give me courage
Give me the courage I need
Courage in the face of conflict and fear
Give me a sign —
That change is coming
Help me get ready
And while I wait
Let hope return
In the scent of a rose
In the line of a song
In the smile of a child
And when courage comes
As it will
Give me the grace to say
Not my will but yours be done