1 Samuel 2:1-10
For not by might does one prevail (v. 9b).
These words are powerful in our era of rush and hurry, which tends to equate busyness with importance and productivity with worth. Our culture prizes those who devote all their time to “might,” to pushing through, making it happen, getting results. We get swept up in this false narrative.
The counter-narrative that we inherit from our faith ancestors is this: we are beloved children of God, entrusted with an abundance of time and resources to lovingly steward and use to advance God’s dreams for the world. The Hebrew people know that the human will is not enough to help a people overcome, or even survive, oppression. Hannah’s song, therefore, is not only about Samuel. She is also singing the story of how her people experienced God’s power in their powerlessness.
Like our faith ancestors, we mightily resist the practice of resting in God. We’d rather rest in earned accomplishments, social status, or financial security. Despite our love for God, we’re tempted to put ourselves in God’s place, believing we have no limits and are solely responsible for our future. Yet, we are created for Sabbath: a designated time to refrain from striving, created for the purpose of resting in and feasting on God and relationships. Our faith tradition is rich in resources, practices, and stories that teach us that living faithfully means practicing Sabbath.
In our world of complex needs and innumerable options, be assured that God will lead and guide us as we walk—and rest—faithfully. Step by step. Week by week. And today—hour by hour.
How could you plan ahead today to make your upcoming Sabbath a day of more complete rest? What keeps you from practicing Sabbath?
God, forgive me for neglecting your command to cease from striving in order to rest in you. Help me hear your invitation to Sabbath and say yes. Amen.