A Mother's Song

Put first things first and second things are thrown in. Put second things first and you lose both first and second things.”  C. S. Lewis

This article is written by Bradford Mercer, Senior Associate Pastor.

I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day! 

My mom collected Bibles—and she read them. I discovered this a couple of years ago while I as going through her books after her death. I found a box full of dog-eared, note-filled Bibles. In the front of each one she had written, “What this book is found to say, I am bound to believe.” In some of them she added, “The Old Testament is the swaddling clothes in which Jesus is wrapped.” I’ll always treasure these books.  

Hannah’s Song

I often think of Hannah’s Song (1 Sam. 2:1-10) when Mother’s Day rolls around. Remember the story behind the song? Hannah desperately wants to be a mother. She longs for children. Her family, friends, and neighbors expect her to have children, lots of children. In the ancient culture in which Hannah lives a quiver full of children is a mark of honor and respect.

Praying through her disappointment and tears, Hannah cries,

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, and no razor shall touch his head (1 Sam. 1:11).

Despite appearances, Hannah is not out to strike a deal with God.  She is essentially saying, “Lord, all my life I’ve wanted to have a child for me. Now I want to have a child for you. This child will be yours!” She will offer her son as a Nazarite, a voluntary Levite. A voluntary Levite will not grow up in her home, learn his father’s trade, own or inherit, or take care of her when she is old. If she’s fortunate, she’ll get to see him once a year. She trusts and prays, and leaves the outcome to God.

The LORD hears her prayer and blesses her with a son, Samuel.  She responds to God’s great mercy with “Hannah’s Song.”  These verses get to the heart it:

There is none holy like the LORD: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God (1 Sam. 2:2).

He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. . . . He will guard the feet of his faithful ones (1 Sam. 2:8, 9).

Mary’s Song

Centuries later, another mother will echo Hannah’s song in her own song.  Mary, the mother Jesus, says,

My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation (Luke 1:46-50).

Hannah and Mary experience what Jesus explicitly teaches Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9:

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Our Song

You see, this isn’t just a Mother’s Song, or Hannah’s Song, or Mary’s Song, it’s every believer’s song. Whether you are married or not, have children or not, are doing well or not. It’s our song!

He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. . . . He will guard the feet of his faithful ones (1 Sam. 2:8,9).

God’s grace is sufficient. Christ’s power is displayed in weakness. He will guard the feet of his faithful ones!

One More Thing I’ll Aways Treasure

I have a letter that Mom wrote to me on first birthday. Here’s how she concludes:

We have never been parents before so we are learning along with you.  We always pray that the Lord will give us wisdom. Before you were born we dedicated you to the Lord.  We really feel that you are a gift from Him. Someday when you read this letter, we trust that you’ll be faithfully serving Him. Thank you so much for the wonderful first year that you’ve given us. We hope that we’ll have many more. We love you so much.

What prayer are we praying today?

What song are we singing?