Hopeless Faith

Year B Pentecost 25 – 1 Samuel 1:4-20; 1 Samuel 2:1-10; Hebrews 10:11-25; Mark 13:1-8

Often, we live through situations that feel hopeless: that infamous “lose-lose” scenario where it feels like whatever choice we make will be detrimental to our future. Hannah was in a comparable situation. Trapped in a polygamous marriage, taunted by her sister spouse, she felt divinely cursed with an empty womb. Instead of getting angry with God, she chose to seek God in prayer.

Hannah’s song of deliverance displays a powerful understanding of God. Her words are akin to the major prophets yet to come, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. She proclaimed God’s coming to restore victims and bring justice for God’s covenant people. It is a beautiful message foreshadowing Mary’s song and the first advent of Christ.

This week’s reading in Hebrews articulates the ability for God’s covenant people to sing along with Hannah. Because of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, sins are forgiven and forgotten. Jesus Christ provided a new living way. We can now dare to approach the very throne of the Creator with Hannah’s might for our hearts are sprinkled clean and our bodies are washed.

Jesus reminds us that the works of humans will be destroyed. Often, like the disciples, we get side-tracked from what is real. Our faith in God sees conquest of evil already complete so we desire to know when the end of things will be. Jesus reminded us that sorrows are only the beginning. Like Hannah, they must be experienced to produce the song.

Are you in a “catch 22” situation right now? Do you feel trapped in a relationship void of hope? You are in a position of power. You have the right to be heard by God. Your prayers will spill forth with a fervency that even career ministers can misunderstand. You have a voice to be heard. You have permission to express your grievances. Find a safe place to articulate your concerns and, like Hannah, you will one day be singing praises.

Published by St Johns Papatoetoe

Presbyterian Church, Hunters Corner, Papatoetoe, Auckland, New Zealand belonging to Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ).

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