“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going.” -Hebrews 11:8

This Sunday we continue in our sermon series on “Change, Transition and Transformation.”  Last Sunday through the story of Moses, Pastor Zach highlighted that: change often happens when we least expect it, we often do not know how to name the change that is taking place as it is happening and we can begin to doubt ourselves.  Faced with these challenges of change, Pastor Zach shared that the story of Moses offers us the hope that like Moses, we can “turn aside” to see and hear God at work.  We can see God transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.  Lastly, we can trust in God’s promises, that God will be who God will be and God will be with us.

This Sunday we will encounter a less familiar Biblical character than Moses.  Our Scripture for our sermon comes from the book of I Samuel chapter 1.  There we find a woman named Hannah.  Hannah was the mother of Samuel, who would become the instrument through whom God acts to bring about a new Israel. 

But the birth of the New Israel does not begin with Samuel.  It does not begin with great men.  Israel’s transformation from a loose collection of tribes to a nation with a king does not begin with grand events.  Rather, it begins with the vexation of a barren woman, a woman who placed her trust in God.  Such a beginning to Israel’s transformation from I Samuel to II Samuel reminds us that God’s grace often comes to us through unlikely paths.

Hannah’s story invites us to ponder the question of whether we are open to God’s grace flowing through unlikely paths.  Are we willing to consider God may be working in unexpected ways in us, through us, among us and around us?  And once we receive the gift of God’s grace, what is our response?  Do we give back to God and others the grace we have received from God?  Hannah did?  Will we?

Pastor Dave