Read 1 Samuel 2:1-8.
Hannah asked God for a son and promised to give that son to God. When she takes Samuel to the Temple, fulfilling her promise, Hannah sings a song of thanksgiving. It seems like an odd time to sing. It’s not the song we might expect from a mother who has just left their child in the care of others. On the other hand, how could one leave their child in the Temple unless one trusts in God’s faithfulness? Hannah stands in the long tradition of people yearning for God’s justice and shalom. Her dedication of Samuel to God is the result of her faith in God’s justice and care. She trusts that God will take care of her small boy and the entire world.
Hannah longs for and sings about a world where divisions between rich and poor, weak and strong, empty and filled, honored and dishonored are erased. She trusts God to accomplish this. Hannah’s longings for a just world are echoed by the psalms, the prophets and Mary.
Hannah’s longing and her song are the longing and song of the poor, weak, disenfranchised and dishonored, in her time and in our time. Her song is still worth singing.
This Advent, what will you sing about? Will you join your song for justice and peace with Hannah’s?
Holy One, in these days of anticipation as we await your advent, help us to align our song with the songs of all who long for your kingdom. Open our eyes and hearts. Grant us the faith and courage to join in the age-old song of justice and peace. Amen.
True North Campus Ministry (Grand Rapids, MI)