Bringing the Text to Life

Hannah and the SBNRs 1 Samuel 1:4-20

Hannah and the SBNRs

A mother who prayed for a child shows us how to be both spiritual and religious.

At a Glance

It's become a tired cliché to many, but a mantra for a significant number of Gen Xers and Millennials: Spiritual but not religious. At least one sociologist, however, says that such a "species" does not exist. We bring this up, because the woman of our OT text was both spiritual and religious, and her persistence in the practice of her piety was rewarded.

Editors' Pick

For material based on today's gospel text, see "StormQuakes," November 13, 1994, at


Spiritual but not religious.

The topic is a hot one in Christian circles today. A middle-aged woman who spends Sunday mornings on a hiking trail might say, "I'm spiritual but not religious." A young man who says he loves Jesus but hates the church might identify himself as SBNR. Today, more than 70 percent of Millennials describe themselves as "more spiritual than religious." Books talk about the end of the church and the birth of a new spiritual awakening.


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