Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
Week of: November 18, 2018
Scripture: 1 Samuel 2:1-10
Hannah prayed and said, "My heart exults in the LORD; my strength is exalted in my God."
(1 Samuel 2:1a, NRSV)
Barren for years and consequently marginalized by the customs of her day, at last Hannah gives birth. She lifts her voice in praise, giving thanks to God for the remarkable reversal of her situation. Hannah has been restored to wholeness in her family and community, and God is the source of her miracle.
Though she has been healed through the birth of Samuel, Hannah does not hold tightly to her son. Dedicating him to God’s service, Samuel is raised in the temple. Hannah gives away the very thing that brought her life. Eventually, her personal miracle expands into a source of goodness for the whole community when a grown Samuel initiates Israel’s monarchy. He becomes a gift to all of Israel.
The movement in this story reminds me of what it is to be a worship artist! God, the source of our creativity, brings healing and wholeness to our lives through the expression of our gifts. We find fulfillment and often healing in our art forms. However, our gifts, though personal, are not private. They are dedicated to God in worship, becoming a source of goodness for the whole community and bringing healing and blessing to others. Now that’s worthy of praise!
Abiding God, we praise you! Through your creativity we are made whole. Bless the creative gifts we offer that they might be a blessing to others. Amen.
Retired Elder, Virginia Conference of The UMC
Affiliate Faculty, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
Photo: Dancers participate in an act of praise during a worship service at Music & Worship Arts Week 2015. The visual artist for this event was Rev. Dr. Kincannon, our Reflection author this week. (Fellowship photo by Daniel Craig.)