After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you.” Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac said to his father Abraham, “Father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together. When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place “The LORD will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”
The child grew, and was weaned; and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac. So she said to Abraham, “Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit along with my son Isaac.” The matter was very distressing to Abraham on account of his son. But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the boy and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for it is through Isaac that offspring shall be named for you. As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a nation of him also, because he is your offspring.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, “Do not let me look on the death of the child.” And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the boy; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Come, lift up the boy and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him.”Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. She went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the boy a drink. God was with the boy, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow.He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
May 1 2022
Acts 9:1-6, Revelation 5:11-14, John 21:1-19
God you are amazing, and sometimes confusing and surprising. May we always find you, even in circumstances we do not understand. When we read a text like the story of Jacob and Esau and it seems that both parents show favoritism and family members deceive each other and because of their actions, grudges can be held for years. There is pain and separation, from you and from each other and sometimes we can’t see a way through. But you see and though our relationships with others may be a mess that we don’t know how to untangle, our relationship with you, our friendship with you. is forever. You are always faithful, always there, working for the good of everyone and we can trust that, lean on that, and hold tight to you. Amen.
God of Abraham, sometimes You tell us to move and sometimes You tell us to stay, even when staying doesn’t seem logical. But whether we stay or move, if we are being obedient to You, You are faithful to grow us right where we are. Amen
God who created us and know every weakness and every strength that we have even from before we are born, help us to pay closer attention. You work in everyday circumstances while we are looking for big shiny miracles. Without Your guidance, we might give up what You have for us for something as mundane as a bowl of stew. Sometimes You are in the details and if we are not focused on you, we miss those everyday blessings. We ask that you keep our eyes on You because You are the true food that fills us, grows us, and blesses us with the better gifts. Amen
God of Abraham, we confess that there are things and people in this world that we hold too tightly, too closely, and while it is not wrong to love this world or the things and people that You have placed in it, it is hard sometimes, to remember that we are to love You above all. Obey You above all, even when it means handing over those things and people that we hold precious, into your hands. Please give us the wisdom to know when, the ability to know how, and the strength to follow through in trust that you will provide all that is needed. Amen
Holy God, the older I get, the more grateful I become that even with the aches and pains and changes, you still send laughter. Even when I think all is lost, and I am dry as a desert, you send a well in the form of friends who quench a thirst that only you knew I had. Amen
O God, we get comfortable with where we are and you see when our lives need to change direction. Teach us every day to keep our eyes on You and to follow where You are leading. We are often tempted to look back at what was and think it was better, it was easier. Remind us that Your ways and Your plans are always good and while memories can be precious, spending too much time looking back can keep us from what You have for us right now, and cause us to stumble on the path you have set us on. Amen
Gracious God, you see the heart, even when we do the wrong thing with what we think are good intentions, You see beyond our actions and use us for good, all for Your glory. Teach us even through our mistakes, more about you and grow us to be more in your image so more people will come to know You, even through our weaknesses. Amen