Sunday: 30th December, 2018

Reference text: 1 Samuel 1:20-22,24-28

1 Samuel 1:21-22 The time came again for Elkanah and his family to go to Shiloh and offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice and the special sacrifice he had promised. But this time Hannah did not go. She told her husband, “As soon as the child is weaned, I will take him to the house of the Lord, where he will stay all his life.”

One English word with a spelling that has eluded me a number of times is ‘accommodation’ (I hope I got the spelling right). It has multiple meanings including: a place to stay or the ability of the eyes to focus by adjusting its lens. However, it is a third meaning that I wish to highlight: ‘the process of adapting of adjusting to someone or something’. In our text from the book of Samuel, we are introduced to the inner workings of Elkanah’s family, particularly their annual visit to Shiloh.

Therefore, although we know of the existence of a justified reason why Hannah wished to be exempt from this visit, it wasn’t one that was to be seen as easy to make and deal with because it was a direct deviation from what they had done each year as a family. We also know for a fact that Elkanah adored his wife, but he had to exhibit a trait that many now deem surplus to requirement: ‘accommodation’.

As defined, this is the ability to make make room to handle the requirements of new situations. It is a trait no family can afford to do away with because its presence can play a crucial role in holding any family together. However, when used with the wrong intentions, that same positive trait, can become a load that weighs down on individuals.

Beloved, there is an elastic limit, a breaking point beyond which there is hardly a way back. When all others have to do is adapt and adjust to make room for the attitudes and behaviours of a few, accommodation can become a burden. When this happens, accommodation is replaced by fits of anger, misunderstandings and deep fractures in relationships. We all need to learn to accommodate, and to know how much of our attitudes others can accommodate lest we end up pushing them past their breaking point.

Remember # accommodation is meant for good, but it can easily become burdensome.


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