1 Samuel 2:1-10
“He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness; for not by might does one prevail.” (1 Samuel 2:9, NRSV)
The passage chosen for this day is the song of praise recorded as that of Hannah, the mother of Samuel. This is her joy expressed at the time she returns this son, for whom she begged the Lord, to the Lord’s service in the Temple. (During Advent, we remember that the Song of Mary echoes Hannah’s song.) This particular verse states clearly what people of faith do well to keep in mind: In our society, where all indicators point to power and might as the only ways to success in any venture, the message here is very clear—“Not by might does one prevail.” So how do we prevail? Obviously, from the first two sentences, we trust God to guard our feet—our paths, our way, etc. Note that, next, “the wicked shall be cut off in darkness,” so we won’t necessarily see that, and trust in God is again necessary. As it usually is with God, we cannot always know or understand what God is up to, but, like Hannah, we trust that we are guarded, and we don’t need our own might to succeed!
Lord God, give us trust like Hannah’s—trust enough to beg for our blessing, and joy enough to thank you for that blessing, even when we don’t understand how you do it! Amen.
– Mary Parrish, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Falls City