Reflections: August 20, 2020
By David Magruder
And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, "I have asked for him from the Lord." (1 Samuel 1:20)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The conception and birth of the child named Samuel was miraculous. His barren mother, Hannah, was gifted with a son. Israel was gifted with a great prophet. It was Samuel who reluctantly anointed Saul to be king over Israel and later would anoint the shepherd-king, David, to rule in place of Saul.
Samuel's work as a prophet was not what we would call successful. The people, more often than not, would ignore Samuel's preaching and thereby ignore the God whose Word he spoke. That is nothing new for God's servants.
So why appoint a day to remember another rejected prophet of God? Well, days commemorating saints of old aren't really about those saints. They are about remembering the work of God through them. Samuel served as God's hand and voice in anointing David as king over Israel, and we know where that led. Centuries after Samuel, God sent the angel Gabriel to a virgin, who was betrothed to a man named Joseph, to announce another miraculous birth. To Mary, the messenger of the LORD made this promise about the child she would bear: "'He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end'" (Luke 1:32-33).
Samuel was given the joy of being part of that unfolding promise. We are given the joy of knowing the promise fulfilled in Jesus. King Jesus was conceived and took on human flesh in the womb of Mary. King Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophets' preaching. King Jesus, David's greater son, was enthroned on a cross to redeem you and the whole world. King Jesus defeated death by rising again and King Jesus reigns and intercedes for you even now. Blessed are you! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty God, in Your mercy You gave Samuel courage to call Israel to repentance ad to renew their dedication to the Lord. Keep us and all your people in the grace of repentance, that by the blood of Jesus, the Son of David, we may continually receive and rejoice in the forgiveness of all our sins; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
-Rev. David Magruder is pastor of Peace With Christ Lutheran Church, Fort Collins, CO.
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