Reflection: July 17, 2020
Friday of the Fifth Week after Trinity
By Kyle Mietzner
Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. (Luke 24:45)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The opening chapter of Samuel belongs in a category all its own. It is nearly comedic. Hannah, who has not been able to bear children, is surrounded by men who can't understand her. She has rivals who irritate her because of her sad circumstances. She deals with these people year after year. Her husband doesn't understand her. Her priest doesn't understand her. The people who are supposed to be her friends do not understand her.
The story would be cruel if the author did not know the ending. But he does, for Samuel himself seems to be the author of the first 25 chapters of this book. He is telling the story of his own birth, before which his mother was surrounded by fools who failed to understand her. She piously desired children, but no one offered any sympathy. This is the stuff of comedy, for it all ends well. Otherwise, it would just be another sad story.
I have a hunch that most of us think that the Bible is sad and boring because we've somehow been told that the Bible is sad and boring. But it's exactly the opposite. Not only is it fascinating, it is life-giving. It will restore and refresh your soul, for it is the very living Word of God. If we have eyes to see, and ears to hear, these stories are full of life, and even laughter. The Lord is known to laugh from time to time! (Psalm 2)
How many people see Jesus as a dour bringer of punishment rather than the giver of life? See, He has set us free! He does not desire your eternal misery, but perpetual joy and life! We should not be surprised when the Holy Scriptures, the very Word of God which testify to Christ (Luke 24:27) turn out to inspire joy within us.
Hannah was given a child by the Lord, even in the midst of those who did not understand. How often are we surrounded by people who don't understand us? Do not lose hope! The Lord controls all things. Feel free to laugh! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty God, grant us a steadfast faith in Jesus Christ, a cheerful hope in Your mercy, and a sincere love for You and one another; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen!
-Rev. Kyle Mietzner is pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Anchorage, AK.
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