Sunday, September 14, 2008

Preaching Abraham (6)

Today's sermon emphasized how Abraham is made "in the image of God" (Gen 1:27) - an image spoiled in Genesis 3, yet still promising God possibilities in spite of sin. God designed humans to reflect his best. Though Abraham can fail lamentably (Gen 12:10-20), he can demonstrate powerful God possibilities - (1) in worship (Gen 13:4,18,); (2) in avoiding wrong battles (Gen 13:5-13); (3) in fighting right battles (Gen. 8-16). We too, made in God's image, defaced by sin, yet renewed by Christ (Col. 3:10), face similar choices. Much immediate feedback focused on (3) - the need for Christians to be proactive, in the face of injustices of every kind.

Next Sunday we see Abraham keeps growing in stature. Gen 14:17- 15:6, the aftermath of rescuing Lot, brings an extraordinary encounter with Melchizedek (see Heb 7), with bread, wine, blessing, giving many features of worship as we know it. What? So early in the story? He rejects the king of Sodom's offer. And then God speaks again with 15:6 trumpeting a theme that reverberates through the NT that "faith is credited as righteousness."

This week I am on faculty retreat in Wisconsin on Tuesday and Wednesday, but I'll keep working on the next sermon and shall keep you posted. I always value your insights - keep in touch.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Where do I worship?

I always get a chuckle when you highlight the extra dose of "righteousness" that one finds in meeting an obligation early in the morning. If getting up early and often is the key, I should expect a manifold increase in my holiness level.

As promised in an earlier posting, I am attempting to reflect upon how the Sunday message applies to our lives. What have been the take home messages?

Let's see.. Abraham followed God's call to move in an unknown new direction, got waylaid in pursuit of creature comforts (for me that would be a full night's sleep), thought he should take over God's promise with Hagar, selected financial sacrifice with Lot, and ultimate sacrifice with his own son. Each time the willingness to sacrifice was ultimately the source of greatest blessing, and the "easy way around" lead only to conflict.

My mind goes to our situation with baby Darrell (whom you now have met a couple times). It certainly would be easier to not have a little baby around while I try to homeschool and prepare for another newborn in January. It goes against my nature (in truth, I am easily overwhelmed by chaos and sleep deprivation).

I never was the girl who wanted a full quiver of children - and always planned to space them at least 3 1/2 years apart. We waited a year for God to send us the child He showed us through foster care, so we lost patience and tried for another birth child. Now, ironically, we may very well end up with the one HE promised to us and the other one on the way. (No fear, we will not banish either of them or "Call him Ishmael").

NOW THERE IS CONFLICT. The horrible alternative to being buried in diapers, of couse, is that after months- or years- of late nights, hectic days, and early mornings... we might be forced to sacrifice one of our little boys to an uncertain future. I know I need to trust that God will take care of him, but this test of faith emerges as the key challenge.

So, as I type with one hand and hold a pacifier with the other, I am actually weeping. The weeping is not my choice, but I can chose to weep in dispair or I can praise Him.

We can chose to think of him as OUR baby, or someone else's baby. Of course, he IS someone else's baby. He is OUR FATHER'S baby.

Here at my bedside with God's baby I WORSHIP.