Luke 1:46b-55 I Samuel 1:19-28 Hebrews 8:1-13
Hannah and Elkanah longed to have a child. Hannah prayed and they were blessed with a son. They named him Samuel. Both Hannah and Elkanah recognized that the birth of Samuel was a great blessing. In fact, they saw him as a gift from God. In response, the joyful parents somehow knew that they had to rejoice and give thanks to God because the gift had been so great.
So they did something very unusual. They dedicated their son to the service of the Lord and brought him to the priest Eli so he could be raised in the temple. Tomorrow you will read Hannah’s prayer in chapter two to get a feel for the exuberance she had for this life changing decision.
It would be like bringing your first born to the church to be raised by the leadership of the congregation as a gift to the Lord. It would be unusual today but it was productive for Samuel and for his parents. Samuel grew, learned his priestly trade, and became a great spiritual leader among the people of Israel. He would later be used by God to select the next two kings of Israel and to be a prophet in the land.
I wonder what gift you could bring to the Lord during this season of celebration. Do you have something (likely not your child!) that is so precious to you that your sacrifice would be remarkable to the people of God? Is there something you could give? I am not thinking of finances. I am not even thinking about your time or your specific abilities. I am thinking about your heart.
As we approach the weekend celebrations…would you be willing to give your heart to your God? Would you consecrate yourself to the work of the church and to service in the world? Psalm 51 reminds us that a sacrifice that will please God is a broken and contrite heart.
How’s it going with your gift giving? Would you give your heart today?