On Grace and Laughter

Today’s Readings
Genesis 18-19
Matthew 6:1-18


18 The Lord appeared to Abraham at the oaks of Mamre while he sat at the entrance of his tent in the day’s heat. He looked up and suddenly saw three men standing near him. As soon as he saw them, he ran from his tent entrance to greet them and bowed deeply. He said, “Sirs, if you would be so kind, don’t just pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought so you may wash your feet and refresh yourselves under the tree. Let me offer you a little bread so you will feel stronger, and after that you may leave your servant and go on your way—since you have visited your servant.”

They responded, “Fine. Do just as you have said.”

So Abraham hurried to Sarah at his tent and said, “Hurry! Knead three seahs of the finest flour and make some baked goods!” Abraham ran to the cattle, took a healthy young calf, and gave it to a young servant, who prepared it quickly. Then Abraham took butter, milk, and the calf that had been prepared, put the food in front of them, and stood under the tree near them as they ate.

They said to him, “Where’s your wife Sarah?”

And he said, “Right here in the tent.”

10 Then one of the men said, “I will definitely return to you about this time next year. Then your wife Sarah will have a son!”

Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were both very old. Sarah was no longer menstruating. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, thinking, I’m no longer able to have children and my husband’s old.

13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Me give birth? At my age?’ 14 Is anything too difficult for the Lord? When I return to you about this time next year, Sarah will have a son.”

15 Sarah lied and said, “I didn’t laugh,” because she was frightened.

But he said, “No, you laughed.” (Genesis 18:1-15, Common English Bible)

Yesterday we talked about how we often play the blame game just like Abram, Sarai and Hagar all played a part in the problem because they took matters into their own hands instead of waiting on God. They didn’t treat each other well. There was blame for them all.

In spite of everything l they did wrong we still see God take care of Hagar and Ishmael in the last part of yesterday’s Genesis lesson and now today God is once again promising a baby to Abraham and Sarah.

Still, Sarah was having a hard time believing what God was going to do. She knew she was old. She knew she was well beyond child-bearing years. To hear someone say she was going to have a baby was quite simply, laughable. When the angel pronounces that Sarah will have a baby she laughs and then the angel wants to know why. If it were any of us, we might find it equally amusing.

What is not amusing here is, even after they try to circumvent God’s plan, even after they treated each other poorly, God still followed through and gave them a son Isaac. Abraham and Sarah experienced grace.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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