December 4th, 2011

small girl in big world [_extraflamey_]

[31] Hagar and Ishmael (CWM)

This year, CWM is doing a (mostly off-lectionary) "Advent sermon series on rethinking texts that seem unjust...asking how there might be a re-thinking of the text in a way that provides a justice alternative to the solution that is offered." [read more here]

For the Sunday that Pastor Lisa would be away, I agreed to preach on the story of Hagar and Ishmael -- translation largely thanks to Phyllis Trible.
Genesis 12:1-3, 16:1-14, 21:9-21

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Hear what the Spirit might be saying to the church.

In the Gospels we encounter Jesus saying to the other Jews of the day, "Do not say to each other, 'We are safe, for we are descendants of Abraham and Sarah.' That means nothing, for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham and Sarah." (Matthew 3:9, Luke 3:8)

Being descendants of Abraham and Sarah, inheritors of the promise, is a big deal. But in reading Genesis, I can't say that I'm too eager to claim Abraham and Sarah as my spiritual ancestors.

My friend Eda introduced me to the writings of Pauli Murray -- an African-American lawyer and activist, active from the 1940s, and in 1977, at the age of 66, the first African-American woman ordained in the Episcopal Church.

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