November 18, 2018
A Voice at the Table
As we continue to strive to include and honor the diversity and gifts of all of God’s children, it is imperative we listen to the voices and experiences of those who have unjustly marginalized and ignored, especially the voices of women. In the book of 1 Samuel, Hannah’s story and prayer offer a vital testimony that subverts its own patriarchal cultural system and provides hope in recognition of the fullness of God’s people. Seminary intern Samuel Turpen preaches on how it is crucial we listen to Hannah’s prayer and the scriptures of women in the biblical text and in our society. A place at the table is not the same as having a voice at the table.
In examining the ways history has silenced and ignored a diversity of voices, we needn’t look further than our tradition, as many lectionaries have even excluded many of the stories of biblical women from being read and explored. This toxic trend continues today for example as the testimony of victims of sexual assault continue to be silenced and ridiculed. Hannah’s story and prayer textually anticipates the prophetic song of another woman we may hear of as we prepare for this Advent season.