December 30, 2018
1 Samuel 2:18-20 and 26
Merry Christmas! I feel especially grateful to be sharing the teaching with you all today in this Christmas season. We have come through the time of waiting and expectation and now we get to honor and hold up Jesus’ birth and growth as a young adolescent. We can also reflect on the growth and newness that we see in and around ourselves, and praise God for it! This is a time for witnessing, praising, and recognizing the broader story of life that we are a part of. The lectionary scriptures for this week are a wonderful guide for our reflection on this season.
The 1st Samuel passage gives us little bits of the story of Samuel as a young boy serving in the temple. Samuel ministered in the temple and wore a linen ephod, which was a tunic-like garment worn by the high priest. His mother and father (Hannah and Elkanah) visit the temple once a year for the annual sacrifice and Hannah gives Samuel the robe that she has made for him. Eli blesses Hannah and Elkanah for giving Samuel to the priests/temple. The passage skips several verses and we get verse 26, “And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord and with men.”