“Samuel was ministering before the LORD, a boy wearing a linen ephod. His mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year, when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “May the LORD repay you with children by this woman for the gift that she made to the LORD”; and then they would return to their home. . . . . Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the LORD and with the people.” (1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26)
Every year a feel a little bit sad that the Christmas season, according to the Revised Common Lectionary, quickly moves into the lectionary year – with nary a look back . . . mostly. Okay, that was a weird sentence, but I think you (mostly) know what I mean. Here we are just a few days past Christmas and we are transported from the Christmas event to other considerations. That will become more clear as this week of scripture passages unfolds.
There is a slight backward glance however in this passage from Samuel, if one looks at it in a certain way. Jesus’ mother Mary was a caring and devoted mother – if she wasn’t/was not destined to be, she would not have been chosen by the Divine. Samuel’s mother was also devoted to her son, Samuel. Do not think, beloved reader, that her heart did not ache being apart from him most of the year. She stands in good stead with other mothers in the bible; John’s mother most easily and most recently comes to mind. Each of the biblical figures that we look up to had strong and devoted mothers.
They had good fathers too. As I made mention and note of, Jesus’ earthly father was of royal lineage. John’s father was a priest in the temple. And I am pretty sure (although it is not mentioned) that Samuel’s father also missed his son who was born to his favored wife.
So even if the nativity is behind us, there is still evidence of strong families. That is good to keep in mind. Also to keep in mind is that with the birth of Jesus the family of God is set in motion. That is very good to keep in mind. Christmas is one of the seasons that has strong emphasis and a firm setting in families. May you, beloved reader, relish your family connects; and include in that the family of God! Selah!