Sermon Proper 7
Abraham is remembered for the covenant God made to him, telling Abraham that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars, we also can not ignore Sarah and Harar, without them, Abraham, would have no descendants.
Hagar: the servant girl was forced against her will to have a sexual relation with her master Abraham, she gave birth to his son Ishmel who became the forefather of Islam. Think about the conflicts that we read about in the newspaper and hear on the evening news. These conflicts are not simply modern conflicts. When we consider difficult passages such as this reading from Genesis 21: 8-21 it is not just a moment in history but part of an ancient struggle that continues today.
Abraham’s wife Sarah gave birth to his second son Issac. Issac also became the leader of a Great Nation also the Lord’s promise to Abraham was fulfilled and through Ishmel and Issac, Abraham became the father of two great nations.
Psalm 86:1-10 ,16,17
The psalmist calls to God for help against his enemies. The psalmist states that having a relationship with God is not limited to only petition or only praise but is a combination of both. Words of praising God before asking for deliverance from enemies and going into thanksgiving even before God provides help. The hope of favor comes from God. We should reach deeply into our scriptural tradition. Then we are able to call out with faith and hope to God who has helped us and comforted us.
This passage with references to sin and references to death does not appear to be very pleasant. But Paul is explaining how through Christ our lives are not limited to sin and death. But through the grace of God, we may be united with Christ and escaped the bonds of sin and death. It is through Baptism we are united with Christ and we come to share in the joy of the resurrection and the grace of God.
One complaint against Christianity brought up by non-believers is why does an all-powerful, loving God allow terrible things to happen in the world – just like the current virus and all the up heave it has caused. This criticism only holds up, if one believes in the common misunderstanding that Christianity is a religion of sunshine, rainbows, unicorns, and puppy dogs, with no suffering and pain. Matthew’s gospel shows that God’s kingdom comes with much pain and suffering.
Todays reading teaches us that following Christ and living a life of faith will not always be easy. But Jesus empowers us to stand in opposition to our oppressors and proclaim the peace and love of God. Proclaiming the Good news will always make those in power uncomfortable and sometimes this means people in our own families. Ultimately, we will be rewarded for doing what is right and God will acknowledge us.
Prayer for the day
Gracious and everlasting God, who in Jesus Christ came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many, so clothe us in your Holy Spirit that when we face adversity of persecution for the sake of the Gospel, we may remain love bearers and faithful servants of your unfailing goodness until the Day of the Lord,. Amen