While planning my lesson for the story, “Birth of Isaac”, it dawned upon me that it was a good time to share with Hannah the meaning of her name and the importance of living up to one’s name.
In the bible, God renamed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah which means, “Father of many nations” and “Princess” respectively.
Abraham was 99 years old when God changed his name and Sarah’s. To suddenly have a new name after all these while, I believe that it was of great significance that God wants Abraham to have a new name. It showed me that having a meaningful name was important and that one ought to know why he was given that name.
The story went on to elaborate the meaning of Isaac’s name, which meant “laughter”. God had brought Sarah laughter, and everyone who heard her story will laugh with her.
During my bible lesson with Hannah, I highlighted my observations and shared with her the meaning of her name.
Hannah means “Grace of God”. She was indeed a gift that the Lord had bestowed upon us. It was after much prayer and fasting that we had her.
Her name can also be found in the Bible. She was Prophet Samuel’s mother, whom prayed for a child too. Her heart’s cry and faith moved God.
It must have been difficult to let your firstborn go, but Hannah followed through her promise to God – to give her son to the Lord for all the days of his life.
And God continued to show favour upon Hannah. She conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters.
We wanted our Hannah to be like this wonderful woman of God:
Hannah in the Bible was barren for several years, mocked by the other wife (and I would imagine by relatives and neighbours too) but she never gave up hope. She kept praying and her cry moved not only the priest, Eli but also the Lord.
As difficult as it must be to leave your only child (around 3 years of age) in a temple, Hannah kept her word, without any tinge of bitterness or remorse.
Alongside with learning the meaning of one’s name, we did three other activities:
1) Stamping stars 1-12
I divided an A4 sized paper into 12 sections then got Hannah to use a star-shaped self-inking stamp to stamp the number of stars according to the number I’ve written. In the beginning, Hannah was doing well but after number 3, she was stamping more than what I had requested for. She stamped the stars every where!
2) Making play-doh people
God promised Abraham that his offspring will be as many as the stars in the sky and grains of sand on the beach, we tried to make play-doh people to represent the many children and grand-children that Abraham would have.
3) Learning to spell “Hannah”
I made up a song to teach Hannah how to spell her name. It goes like this (to the tune of “If you’re happy and you know it”):
H-A-N-N-A-H spells Hannah.
H-A-N-N-A-H spells Hannah, that’s you.
H-A-N-N-A-H spells Hannah.
This week, why not try sharing the meaning of your child’s name with him?