Day 96: 1 Samuel 1-3, Psalm 80, John 15

By The Rev. Whitney Altopp
Hannah’s fervent prayer for a child reminds us that God, as described in the Old Testament, was experienced as one intimately connected with his people.  Having just finished Luke, you might recognize the similarities between Hannah’s prayer and Mary’s song of praise in Luke 1:46-55.  There are also similarities between the description of Samuel in 2:26 and the description of Jesus in Luke 2:52.  Both boys were set apart for service to God.  As Christians, however, we understand Jesus to be more than human.  Jesus is fully God and fully man.

In John 15 we hear the heart of Jesus’ message, that we love one another.  This is part of Jesus’ Farewell Discourse to his disciples.  For the first 17 verses of this chapter, Jesus tells his disciples of what it means to be a part of his work of love in the world.  The remaining 10 verses of this chapter highlight our interconnectedness, as Jesus’ disciples, with Jesus and the message that has been foundational in his ministry.  It is because of our interconnectedness that God responds to our requests.  God desires to bring glory to himself through our lives.

What phrase in Hannah’s prayer grabs your attention?  Sit with that phrase for a few minutes allowing God to pray those words in you.

What would God say happens in your life that gives God glory?  Spend a moment in thanksgiving for that opportunity.

Loving God, you invite us to allow our lives to be in service to you; give me an opportunity this day to respond to that invitation, in the name of the One God.  Amen.

The Rev. Whitney Altopp is Vicar of St. Thomas Church, Whitemarsh in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania