Abram, Sarai, Hagar and Discerning God’s Will

I’ve got it mostly done.  The essay needs another going over for grammar and spelling and I need to get the references together yet, but, the structure is all there.

It was a cool study.  I’ve known this story, like forever.  It is likely one of the first stories that I learned in Sunday School.  Looking back, I’m not sure what I was supposed to learn from the story 45 years ago.  Maybe it was really just a history lesson.

Now, I find it to be a story about trying to grasp God’s promises outside of God’s time.  It’s a story about the mess that happens when we try to rush God.  It’s a story about a man who compromises, who listens to voices around him rather than God’s voice, who ends up paying by sending his oldest son into exile and being asked to sacrifice the younger one.

What does it mean for me in this time.  It looks like I will be preaching on November 15 since our pastor will be away on holiday.  I’m tempted to explore this one a little further for that service.

Yesterday, we went to an event put on by the deacons of our denomination.  Workshops and worship were the order of the day.  I attended a workshop on discerning God’s will for your congregation.  I don’t think those who signed me up for that particular one were hoping that I would find direction for the church.  I was touched by the thought from the leader that sometimes you can discern God’s will, but, it has a “not yet” attached to it.

That brings me back to Abram.  He knew God’s will.  The piece that he missed was the “not yet”.  This discerning thing can be confusing.

It would be easier if God would just use email.

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