Exciting news for you… Really exciting… Are you ready?
I have FINISHED my essay!! That actually makes me happy enough to give a little ‘woop, woop’! (Yep. I am a true loser!)
A couple of final proof reads to check through my spelling and grammar, and it’ll be ready for submission tomorrow.
And I am excited. Partly because I can now enjoy the fun-filled weekend that me and my friends have planned to occupy our time. But more than partly because there’s something really satisfying about putting in so much hard work and finishing the completed item. I always feel this way. Sometimes it’s when I’m writing a song. Sometimes it’s when I’m painting a piece of art. And sometimes, like today, it’s when I’m writing an essay. Because it’s less about the final grade, and more about the journey.
And writing this essay has been a great, challenging, but ultimately wonderful journey.
In the final part of this paper I had to include some personal reflections. I’ll share these with you, as I’m too brain-tired to construct anything totally new. Enjoy!!
(If you are only just tuning into the Peta’s-essay-writing-saga then please know that my paper has been on the Song of Hannah in 1 Samuel 2:1-10… That’s gonna be important to understand this next bit! ;))
On a personal level, there is further application. Although the debates surrounding the purpose and authorship of Hannah’s psalm are useful to our wider understanding, it does not take away from the reality that this psalm is part of the inspired Word of God. We may not know the author of the text, but we know the Author is the Holy Spirit. Whether this psalm was written in a time contemporary to Hannah, or inserted as a later addition to the text by a post-exilic author or redactor, its location in the wider narrative and its attribution to the character of Hannah hold a pivotal point in the story. I find the character of Hannah inspiring. She remains steadfast and loyal to the worship of Yahweh in a cultural context of idolatry and compromise. She sacrifices the greatest gift that is bestowed back to God so willingly. In that place of surrender, she brings forth a song of such genuine praise. It moves us from personal testimony to generation and future shifting prophecy.
I find this entire narrative a challenge. Just as professionally, the psalm of Hannah has an impact of my practice with young people and communities; so personally, it inspires me to live in the light of the example given by this woman. To trust that my strength is in the Lord. To find my delight in his deliverance. To be a woman who sings out worship in a place of surrender which testifies about the character of God, and speaks of the return of his future King.