Advent Devotional – Thursday, Jan 3rd

By: Jill Oglesby-Evans

I Samuel 2:18-20, 26

Bread MercyReflection—v.20, ‘by this woman’
Hannah, whose husband was Elkanah and whose son was Samuel, put up with a lot. For one thing, at a time when a woman’s worth was measured by her male children, Hannah was barren. And although her husband did not blame her for this, her very fruitful ‘co-wife’ gave her endless grief about it. To add insult to injury, when Hannah goes to the temple to pray for relief, the priest imagines she’s drunk and tells her so! So much for non-judgmental pastoral care. But when God finally opens Hannah’s womb, none of this matters anymore. Instead, like Mary after her, Hannah’s heart leaps with gratitude. When God opens the wombs of our hearts to bear Jesus to the world, everything else—our longing, our fear, our angst, our forgetfulness—pales in comparison. What makes your own heart leap with gratitude?
Prayer:  Heart-opening God, in the midst of the complexities of our lives, help us remember to be grateful.