Thursday

25 November 2021

1 Samuel 2:18-21

His mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year. (v. 19)

Psalm 51

Background

I remember a conversation I had with my late Mom. At the time I was 34, married with a very responsible job which included  supervising junior staff and students, occasional lecturing and speaking at conferences. I don't remember what we were actually discussing, but I was clearly very busy. Mom was worrying about me and I told her that she didn’t need to worry so much. She paused, looked me in the eye and said, "It doesn’t matter how old you get you will always be my baby."

Every year Hannah made a garment for Samuel. How did she know how much he had grown in the intervening months? How broad had he got? I guess she gauged the size needed from watching boys of a similar age playing in the streets of their home town. When she watched them I wonder how she felt … Sad? Excited? Was she torn between wanting her son at home and keeping her promise to God? We will never know, but the one thing that is apparent is her love for Samuel never diminished. He was there in her thoughts and in her making and, doubtless, in her prayers as well.

I do not know what situation you are in with family. Your family could include those related to you, as well foster or adopted family members, partners and friends – we are all different in our lives and relationships. One thing I know for sure, and have experienced myself, is that family, even separated by many years, miles or circumstances are always there for one another. Whoever is in your family circle, the same applies.

We may be separated by time and space but that thought of Hannah thinking of Samuel and my own Mom still seeing in me the baby she had longed for reminds me that, in actual fact, nothing can come between us and the loves in our lives.

 To Ponder:

  • How is your ‘family’ made up?
  • Who are the people you haven’t had contact with for a while? Now might be a nice moment to get back in touch.

Prayer

Lord of all time and space we believe that nothing can separate us from the love that you have for each one of us in Jesus Christ. We thank you for those we hold dear, would call ‘family’ and who support and encourage us. Help us to be the same support and encouragement for them. Amen.


Bible notes author

The Revd Una McLean

Una is a Methodist minister (presbyter) currently working in Cramlington, Northumberland as part of the South East Northumberland Ecumenical Area. She lives with Patricia her Yorkshire terrier who loves people (but couldn't eat a full one!). Before becoming a minister she worked as an occupational therapist for 20 years in fields as varied as elderly care, adult mental health and paediatrics.

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