My last posting mentioned my forthcoming sermon on Abraham (Gen 11:27-12:9). Preaching on Old Testament characters must beware shrinking them for pulpit use. Though it is tempting to personalize, moralize, psychologize people like Abraham to draw out personal principles (and there is some room for this), the Old Testament text is there first and foremost to show us God at work. When Abraham begins THE story of the people of God, (he's first in Jesus' geneaology Matthew 1:1), large-scale matters of how God works in the world are in hand.
My sermon's main impact emerges out of the text, (that really does begin back in Gen. 11): By God's grace, my sermon will say that God chooses to speak, disturb and make stupendous promises, and Abraham obeys with amazing faith. And what my sermon will do: is challenge us to trust and obey the same God who calls us to live "beyond normal."
I continue to work on the details. I have already received an interesting comment about Abraham's age (75 years old), and am always open to further insights.