1 Samuel 1: 24-28
When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine. She brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh; and the child was young. Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me the petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.”
She left him there for the Lord.
1 Samuel 2: 1, 4-8
“My heart exults in the Lord;
my strength is exalted in my God.
My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in my victory.
The bows of the mighty are broken,
but the feeble gird on strength.
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
but those who were hungry are fat with spoil.
The barren has borne seven,
but she who has many children is forlorn.
The Lord kills and brings to life;
he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
he brings low, he also exalts.
He raises up the poor from the dust;
he lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes
and inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,
and on them he has set the world.
Luke 1: 46-56
And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
Imagine Hannah’s journey as she earnestly prayed to the Lord for a child only to leave him in the temple of the Lord’s service after a short time. Hannah must have understood that by the Lord answering her prayer, that it was, in fact, His will for her to conceive. Therefore since it was God’s will, God would have plans for her son. Hannah must have also realized that every good thing comes from the Lord and therefore belongs to Him. We are not random people who borrow gifts from God, but rather His chosen vessels to carry out His will for the world through appropriately stewarding His gifts.
The scriptures talk today of the corrective actions of God. He brings justice to the poor, hungry, and needy, and overthrows ill suited power structures. Mary, who has also received a miracle baby from God, declares His sovereignty. Interestingly enough, Mary’s proclamation of God’s work is accomplished through the child she is carrying. She too recognizes that all good things come from God and by receiving them, thanking Him, and honoring Him, His healthy purposes for the world come to fruition.
We all have gifts from God. Each of us has talents, strengths, and answers to prayers. When we humbly receive these gifts from God and use them for HIs glory, then we take part in bringing about God’s redemption for the world. Today let us consider the blessings God has given us and how we can offer them back to Him for the salvation and healing of the world.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the talents and strengths you have given me. Lord please protect me from pride or crediting myself for these things, and help me to instead humbly offer them to you and serve you with them. Lord I offer to you the desires of my heart, the talents that bring me the most joy, and dreams that are yet fulfilled knowing that you will use them to bring about your kingdom here on earth. Amen.