This Sunday we conclude our sermon series from Genesis and the Revised Common Lectionary called From Chaos to Community.
This set of scripture passages through Genesis has been challenging at best. Chaos has seemed more prevalent than community. And yet even in the challenges presented, we may find growth and grace. We may find transformation and see the possibility of transformation within ourselves.
34So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become wealthy; he has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female slaves, camels and donkeys. 36And Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was old; and he has given him all that he has. 37My master made me swear, saying, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live; 38but you shall go to my father’s house, to my kindred, and get a wife for my son.’
Consider these questions:
- How has this series affected your understanding of the story of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Hagar and Ishmael?
- If there has been a dramatic change in your understanding of these stories, how does that fit in with your faith and your relationship with God?
- This text seems to draw a somewhat rosy conclusion as Isaac begins to journey on his own; but there is still some difficulty in the idea of a servant “get[ting] a wife for [his] son.” Is it fair to say that some of the “sins of the father” have been passed on? What might that say about the idea of legacy? Might it be incremental?
Post-Sermon Update on 7/11
Audio for the sermon can be heard below.
In this concluding sermon in the series, we continued to critique Abraham and Sarah but did so in the attempt to recognize human frailness. While I believe God continues to call all humanity to engage in fruitful life-giving relationship with one another, sometimes we fall into fear and selfishness. In the scripture above, we see part of the story of Isaac eventually marrying Rebekah. We read this critically as well, but noted some incremental improvement in how Isaac and his family live out their covenant in God’s love – certainly improvement over how Abraham and Sarah did so. This seems to fall in line with most of us who hope to leave this world in incrementally better than how we experience it today.
Consider these questions
- What are some of the ways that you see the world failing today, and what do you think you can do to make it a little better?
- Will it be easy? Will it be hard? Will it be something in between?
- Will you do it no matter the difficulty?
- Do you think this commitment is worth any challenging aspect?