for Sunday, December 30, 2012
1st Sunday after Christmas
lectionary focus: 1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26; Colossians 3:12-17
When my friend Tim was a young boy, his grandmother always gave her grandchildren pajamas as their Christmas present. Tim said they were nice pajamas and they’d wear them all year, but…well…pajamas are not very fun; pajamas are not toys. One Christmas, when Tim grew up, he took his grandmother shopping so she could buy her traditional pajama presents. Tim took this opportunity to ask her, “Why? Why pajamas for Christmas every year?” Tim told me that his Granny looked him in the eye and said, “1st Samuel, Chapter 2, Verses19 and 26.”
Now Tim knew Granny was referring to a Bible story though he didn’t have that one memorized. And like Tim, I think even we are pretty sure that there are no pajamas in the Bible. Tim said his grandmother calmly handed him the Bible she always carried in her purse and left him to read while she picked out pjs.
Interestingly, the story Tim read is the same Bible story we have today. Here we see the young boy Samuel training with the priest Eli. Each year, Samuel’s mother Hannah came to visit him and brought him a “little robe.” The story then ends with the words, “Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the Lord and with the people.”
Tim’s grandmother explained to him that like Hannah she wanted her children and grandchildren and great-grands to grow strong with the Lord; she wanted them to know that God loves them no matter what; she wanted them to know that she loved them no matter what. And so, like Hannah, each year, she gave her grandchildren pajamas that they would be wrapped in a coat of love, love, love: love from her, love from their family, and most importantly, love from God.
Now we may not get new pajamas each Christmas…but we do have family that loves us, and a church that loves us, and God loves us. And so each time we get dressed–whether in our pajamas or play clothes or school clothes or whatever–be like Samuel and clothe yourself with love. Remember that you are a precious child of God forever wrapped in a coat of love, love, love.
Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)
for Your love.
for my family.
for wrapping me
in a coat of love, love, love.
We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.
Happy New Year!