Posted by: Pauline | October 9, 2016

Scriptures for Sunday October 16

1 Samuel 1:9-11, 19-20; 2:1-10

These selected verses tell of a prayer made and answered, followed by a song of praise. But reading the entire chapter of 1 Samuel 1 shows us the suffering and sadness out of which Hannah’s prayer and her vow arise. The most visible sign of God’s blessing on a woman, children, has been denied to her, and she also must deal with the spiteful words of her husband’s other (and fertile) wife, as well as her husband’s ineffectual attempts to console her.

Much as she longs for a child, she is also willing to give him up if God does bless her with a son. God does, and she follows through on her vow to give her son back to God, as a servant in the sanctuary. Having left him there, she must feel some sadness, but the words she speaks are not of sadness but of joy and praise to God.

Luke 1:46-55

Mary also praises God for an unexpected child, though she had hardly been praying for one, as Hannah had. Her song of praise echoes Hannah’s in several ways, as she proclaims God’s goodness and grace in raising up those who are lowly in the world’s eyes, while bringing down the proud and powerful.

As one further point of connection between Hannah and Mary, it is interesting to note that Hannah’s name means “favor” or “grace” – the very word used by the angel when first greeting Mary and telling her she will bear a miraculous child.

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