Sunday, November 15, 2015: “Today’s Scripture Readings”


A Reading from the First Book of Samuel (1:4-20)


On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters; but to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. Her rival used to provoke her severely, to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb.  So it went on year by year; as often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her.  Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. Her husband Elkanah said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? Why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?” After they had eaten and drunk at Shiloh, Hannah rose and presented herself before the Lord. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord, and wept bitterly. She made this vow: “O Lord of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a nazirite until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razor shall touch his head.” As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying silently; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard; therefore Eli thought she was drunk. So Eli said to her, “How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself? Put away your wine.” But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman deeply troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation all this time.” Then Eli answered, “Go in peace; the God of Israel grant the petition you have made to him.”  And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your sight.” Then the woman went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband, and her countenance was sad no longer. They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah. Elkanah knew his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I have asked him of the Lord.”


> Points the way to David, Israel’s ultimate king.

> Hannah, one two daughters of Elkanah, is infertile.

> The Ark of the Covenant was supposedly kept at Shiloh.

> The theme of the infertile wife is common in the Bible.

> The definition of a Nazarite is given in Numbers, chapter six.

> Samson was a Nazarite.

> Normally prayers were spoken out loud in the ancient world.




The Song of Hannah (1 Samuel 2:1-10)


My heart exults in you, O God; *

my triumph song is lifted in you.

My mouth derides my enemies, *

for I rejoice in your salvation.

There is none holy like you, *

nor any rock to be compared with you, our God.

Do not heap up prideful words or speak in arrogance; *

only God is knowing and weighs

all actions.

The weapons of the mighty are broken, *

but the weak are clothed in strength.

Those once full now labor for bread; *

those who hungered now are well fed.

The childless woman finds her life fruitful, *

and the mother of many sits forlorn.

God destroys and brings to life, casts down and raises up; *

gives wealth or takes it away, humbles and dignifies.

God raises the poor from the dust; *

and lifts the needy from the ash heap

to make them sit with rulers *

and inherit a place of honor.

For the pillars of the earth are God’s *

on which the whole earth is founded.

God will guide the path of the faithful, *

but the wicked will languish in darkness.

For it is not by human might *

that any mortal will prevail.

The foes of our God will be shattered; *

the Most High will thunder through the heavens.

The Almighty will judge the earth to its ends;

and will give strength to the ruler of God’s own choosing.


> This is the response from Hannah due to the birth of her child.

> It was added by an independent editor.

> There are opposites in a number of verses.

> The ruler of God’s own choosing was David.

> This is an additional canticle that can be used either in morning or evening prayer.



A Reading from the Letter to the Hebrews (10:11-25)


Every priest stands day after day at his service, offering again and again the same sacrifices that can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, “he sat down at the right hand of God,” and since then has been waiting “until his enemies would be made a footstool for his feet.” For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds,” he also adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.


> The same theme keeps going round and round.

> Jeremiah chapter 31:  Remember their lawless deeds no more.

> The day of the Lord is the coming of all things.

> This wraps up the church year.




The Holy Gospel of Our  Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark (13:1-8)


As he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!” Then Jesus asked him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.” When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?” Then Jesus began to say to them, “Beware that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birth pangs.”


> Chapter 14 in Mark is the passion narrative.

> Chapter 13 is Mark’s description of the end of time.

> The second half of chapter 13 preaches that after the temple is destroyed the son of man will return.

> In Matthew and Luke, which were written year later, the time frame is after the temple is destroyed.

> Jesus did not come so they take on a different perspective.

> The Apostle Andrew is brought back into the picture.

> He was one of the original four apostles.

> The earthly chaos will happen first before the end comes.

> Mark thought the end of the world was imminent.

> The longest unbroken speech by Jesus is in these verses.