Hannah and Samuel
And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life...” 1 Samuel 1:11
Hannah fervently prayed that the LORD would give to her a son and she vowed that she would return Him to the LORD for His service. Unlike so many people in this world, Hannah recognized that every child is a gift from God. Hannah’s example of prayer and devotion regarding her son, Samuel, sets for us a model for parents of every subsequent generation. The Church and the world need parents who teach their children that they are gifts from God and called to lives in His service. The Church and the world need children who understand that they are called by God to serve Him wherever they go and with the gifts they have received. The Church needs children whose parents encourage and offer their children to the Lord!
Dean John Fritz from Concordia Seminary was preaching in a small-town congregation one Sunday when he saw a family and noted to the father, “A fine group of sons. Surely, one of them for the Ministry.” With those words, the father began encouraging his youngest toward pastoral ministry. That youngest son ended up joining the Ministry, served for many years, and is now a sainted pastor. A lifetime of ministry from a word of encouragement. May God use parents to bring their children up in the faith, but also to encourage their children to lives of service as teachers and servants in the Church.
The LORD has need of boys and girls, men and women to consider full-time service in the Church. Children are not gifts from God for parents to simply leave them to their own devices. Rather, parents are blessings from God to bring children up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Parents may not choose the exact vocations for their children, but they are called by God to bring their children to the LORD, as they are gifts from God.
Prayer – God the Father Almighty, maker of all things, You looked on the affliction of Your barren servant Hannah and did not forget her but answered her prayers with the gift of a son. So hear our supplications and petitions and fill our emptiness, granting us in Your provision, so that we, like Hannah, might render unto You all thankfulness and praise, and delight in the miraculous birth of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan