Bringing the Text to Life

Yes! 1 Samuel 2:1-10


In Hannah’s prayer, we hear a woman’s triumphant shout to God’s affirmation of her deepest desire.

It’s the exclamation you’re going to over-use when the stuffing and turkey take their second and third laps around the table a week from Thursday.

It was Jim Carrey’s affirmative-only life plan in last year’s holiday hit movie Yes Man.

It’s the word we wish our toddlers would learn, although they’ve mastered its opposite.

It also could be the one-word summary of Hannah’s prayer in today’s passage.


She’s celebrating like Tiger Woods after draining a 40-foot putt on the 18th hole at Augusta. Can’t you imagine Hannah throwing that same signature fist pump? She not only got what she wanted, but she’s watching — with considerable satisfaction — her opponents eat dust!

Hannah offers an ecstatic and emotional prayer but with bracingly mixed motives.

We’ll get back to Hannah’s celebration below. Her prayer was free and private. A lot of the ways we celebrate are much more costly and conspicuous. For the most fantastic — and narcissistic — of public celebrations, turn to the sports world.


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