“Time-Released Details” (1st Sunday after Christmas)

1st Sunday after Christmas Day – December 27

1st Samuel 2:18-20, 26; Luke 2:41-52; Colossians 3:12-17

“Time-Released Details”

by CM

A parallel between the Old Testament reading and our Gospel reading is that we’re observing a moment of boyhood in the lives of two individuals who are intrinsically linked across the span of many generations: Samuel and Jesus. One eternally occupies the Throne of David as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, our Savior Jesus; while it was Samuel who became the man that inaugurated the line of Israel’s royalty and anointed its first two kings.

We also see the hearts of two mothers—Hannah and Mary—women who have prayed, dedicated their lives to faithfully carrying out the requirements of the law as a result of their devotion to God, and two women who have divine insight into the destiny of their special boys, even if they lacked the details. And it’s in the lack of details that the real value of the faith journey is revealed.

These mothers, looking at their boys, both of them products of God’s word to them in “time release” form. Who can say with certainty what the details of a boy’s manhood will look like? Yet, as is pointed out—in 1st Samuel 2:26, in relation to Samuel and Hannah; and in Luke 2:52, in relation to May and Jesus—both moms watched their boys grown in stature and in favor with God and men as they transitioned from boyhood to manhood.

So I ask you now, what has been produced in your life pursuant to your relationship with God which unites you in your experience of that production with Hannah and Mary? What has God brought into your life on a “time release” basis? Something that requires a period of maturation?

In what ways may you yourself be that time-released gift to humanity from on high? In what ways have you ever considered that the promise and purpose of your own life may be directly linked to the life of another across the span of generations?

It is this consideration that brings forth the sacred in your life. Embrace this truth and sanctify this reality by doing all things, be they in word or deed, in the name of the Lord Jesus, as is pointed out in our epistle reading, Colossians 3:17.

You can imagine, coming from the perspective of an incarcerated man, scriptures that highlight transitions across the passage of time—“time-release” workings of the hand of God—are particularly encouraging. May the areas in your life that require a period of maturation be seen in new light, and as our two mothers in these readings, keep these things in your heart and be encouraged too.

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