Thursday, December 19, 2013

Nazarite before Nazarere

Today's first reading is the story of the birth of Sampson. We must remember that in the Old Testament they thought human reproduction worked liked agriculture. The man planted the seed and whether it grew or not depended on whether the soil (the woman) was fertile or barren. Simpson's mother was thought to be barren, also erroneously understood as a curse from God.

So the angel appears to the woman and promises that she will bare a son and he will be consecrated (nazir) to God from birth.

The three rules for a Nazirite were:
— no alcohol
— no cutting of their hair
— no contact with dead bodies

Samuel also was known to have taken the Nazirite vow, which could be taken for a period of time.

Most important to us is the fact that it was when all hope seemed lost that God brought new life into the world in a place that was thought to be barren.

We are once again reminded that even in our darkest moments, we Christians remain people of hope.