Abiding in hope claiming the blessing sermon for proper 28b u gas station

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Every autumn after the harvest was over, Elkanah’s family made its way to Shiloh to thank God for God’s bounty. electricity outage And every year, it seemed to Hannah that her situation got worse, not better— this terrible sense of dread and longing after another year is gone without any children, after her sister-wife has presented their shared husband with yet another child.

Poor Hannah. The first two people she interacts with absolutely fail to understand her. One of them should know better—her husband, Elkanah. gasco abu dhabi address Knowing full well the kind of society in which they live—one where a woman was valued first and foremost by her ability to do the one thing a man absolutely could not do, which is conceive and bear children—Elkanah dismisses Hannah’s very real pain, distress, and grief. Even if he meant well, his response to Hannah’s grief over her failure to have children is ham-handed at best, and arrogant and unfeeling at worst.

When he asks, “Am I not more to you than ten sons?” he is spectacularly short-sighted. I am sure he is very dear to her. But if anything ever happens to Elkanah, his love for her during his life will do nothing to save her from being absolutely destitute, and we can already see that the other wife will waste no time tossing Hannah out into the streets, since through the children she has with Elkanah, Peninnah will inherit everything.

And there she encounters old Eli—who has led Israel as a political and religious leader, but whose sons’ corruption is taken as a sign that God’s favor is being withdrawn from the old man. electricity voltage in india He sits in a darkened corner, brooding. What will become of Israel? Their enemies, the Philistines, live right on top of them, and God’s voice has been withdrawn from Eli’s hearing.

Hannah was so intent on her prayer she was startled as the old man loomed up next to her and took her by the arm while berating her. The injustice of his charge of drunkenness on top of the bitter treatment she has received from her sister-wife as well as her husband’s insensitive comments nearly causes her to break down completely. Here’s another person who has failed to understand Hannah this day, and now it’s a stranger with stooped shoulders and an air of failure about him. t gasthuys Hannah knows failure when she sees it.

And yet, as Hannah leaves her young son behind, she doesn’t weep. Instead she sings out a prayer of victory and thanksgiving at God’s gift of a son to her, ending her shame. kansas gas service bill pay She gives the boy back to God because she knows he was God’s all along. And her song anticipates the role the boy Samuel will play in redeeming Israel from being a people on the margins of destruction. Hannah has gone from despair to certainty and gratitude, and that is enough.

Even more—her song shows that she has been given a glimpse of redemption and true shalom for all. Her son will become a great prophet himself, and he will be sent by God to anoint the first kings over Israel. Just like her, Israel will go from being a barren, despairing people to a priestly people, a people from whom a savior will rise—all through the power of a God who forms mountains and the foundations of the world but does not scorn a despairing woman’s cry

Hannah’s story reminds us that God has the power to transform lives in ways beyond our knowing, for God is utterly free to act as God wills—and God often acts through those who would otherwise be the least likely suspects—not the mighty, or the powerful, or the comfortable, but the humble, the defenseless, those who have experienced heartbreak and even loss, those who seemingly had nothing but hope and faith to power them through.

Yet Hannah’s song, and the story of so many people like her throughout scriptures and throughout history, is one where we find ordinary people willing to open themselves to helping bring about God’s blessings in the world. The story of Hannah itself echoes with the stories of Sarah and Rachel before her. All these stories will themselves resound in our memory in a few weeks, when we hear the story of Elizabeth, and the story of Mary.

We live in a time when many people believe that, like in our gospel passage, all the edifices of faith have been pulled down, until not one stone rests upon the other. e gasoline But perhaps sometimes the walls have to come down to remind us that faith and hope should not and ultimately must not be contained, that they don’t reside in buildings or monuments.