Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Psalm’

It is interesting that we will explore Hannah’s Song at our Advent Vespers just one day after the globalized day of prayer against hunger on December 10.  Before we reach Hannah uplifting her prayer of thanksgiving about her son, we learn in the book 1 Samuel that Hannah had been rebuked for reaching for more food at dinner one night by her husband’s second wife, Peniniah.

hannahs-prayerEven in a prosperous household, food can be used as a weapon.  It is presumed that Elkanah’s household was affluent, which was why he could accommodate having both Hannah and Peniniah as wives.  Hannah was barren where Peniniah had many children.  Peniniah scolded Hannah for reaching for more food, stating that the extra food should go to her own children.  At that table, food was used to shame Hannah for the barrenness that was beyond her control.

It was this encounter that prompted Hannah to go to the temple and plead with God for a son.  She made a bargain, vowing that if she is blessed with a child she would give him over to God to be a Nazarite.  Soon after, she gave birth to Samuel, whose name translates “name of God.”  When Samuel was about 3 years old, the family journeys to Shiloh where Hannah gives Samuel over to the priest Eli, fulfilling her promise made in the temple.  It is here in 1 Samuel 2:1-10 we encounter her prayer of thanksgiving.

It was common for prayers of thanksgiving to be sung aloud.  Add that ritual with the literary structure and strong symbolism, Hannah’s prayer often referred to as a psalm or song.  Since Hannah was heading to the temple as she proclaimed this prayer, many traditions sing this song in advance to worship as a pietistic preparation.

Hannah’s song strongly parallel’s the style and structure of Psalm 113, a song of thanksgiving that is accredited to David.  The structure and style of songs of thanksgiving are somewhat formulaic in structure – they tend to begin with an word of praise, refer back to how God has acted on behalf of the people in creation in the past, and look to the future at how God will bring glory in the future.  Such a structure was useful when used corporately in an assembly, as it leads to natural breaks for call and response between the congregation and the cantor.

This structure for songs of thanksgiving is so strong that we see it repeated in numerous psalms, including Mary the mother of Jesus’ psalm of thanksgiving at the annunciation.  The similarities between Mary’s song and Hannah’s song are so strong that some scholars believe that Mary’s song was an adaptation of the familiar song from Hannah.

We explore Hannah’s song at 7 pm on Wednesday, December 11.  Dinner will be held at 6 pm for those interested.  Join us next week as we encounter the song of John the Baptist in Luke 3:1-18.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Follow this link to read a sermon on Psalm 51, “Forgiveness,” preached at Divinity Lutheran Church of Parma Heights on Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Read Full Post »

Sermon: Sorrow

Follow this link to read a sermon on Psalm 102, “Sorrow,” preached at Divinity Lutheran Church of Parma Heights, OH on April 6, 2011.

Read Full Post »

Semon: Recognition

Follow this link to read a sermon on Psalm 139, “Recognition,” preached at Divinity Lutheran Church of Parma Heights, OH on March 30, 2011.

Read Full Post »

Sermon: Oppression

Follow this link to read a sermon on Psalm 40, “Oppression,” preached at Divinity Lutheran Church of Parma Heights, OH, on March 23, 2011.

Read Full Post »

Sermon: Restlessness

Follow this link to read a sermon on Psalm 77, “Restlessness,” preached at Divinity Lutheran Church, Parma Heights, OH on March 16, 201

Read Full Post »