We're so happy you decided to join us today!
When we meet in person, we share what joys and concerns we have together. As you think over your past week, consider any prayer requests you might have. If you have anything you would like to share, you can include it as a comment to this post. When you are ready, use the prayer below (source) to get started.
as I see Your great wisdom reflected in Your wonderful creation, I want to praise You with my whole being. Thank you for the creative Word-of-God, WHO not only spoke the worlds into being from nothing but died for me, so that I could live – so that I could have life - everlasting life and life more abundantly. Open the eyes of foolish men who arrogantly refuse to recognise the truth and acknowledge Jesus as their Creator God and gracious Saviour, and thank You for all Your never-failing goodness, long-suffering mercy, and amazing grace towards ME. This I pray in Jesus' name, AMEN.
Today's lesson is on Genesis 21:8-20.
Today’s lesson teaches us that only God can hear, speak and act to save. He hears the cries of his people and heeds the pleas of the oppressed. In today’s passage, he hears and offers true hope. Today we focus on his promise to Abraham. Abraham’s descendants would become a great nation. Sarah interferes, she has decided to help God and offers her personal slave to conceive a child, a common practice at the time. The logic is: “If my slave produces a chid, that child will be mine, just like his mother. Hagar, becomes the mother of Ishmael (“God hears”) Abraham’s first born son. Sarah becomes the mother of Isaac (God’s planned inheritance will be his.) The situation between Sarah and Hagar became so intense. God keeps his promise and both sons are blessed with 12 sons and both sons become heads of nations. Even though Hagar’s child was Sarah’s own idea, she demands that both of them be exiled. God hears their cries for mercy.
Hagar had a difficult life. But as Ishmael’s name reminds us, God hears! Abraham’s God who loved both Isaac and Ishmael, is the Lord of all creation. He cares for all people, and he keeps his promises. He hears all cries of injustice, and he responds with a message of hope. That message must be preached, taught, and lived by his people before the watching world, which is desperate for a better story than the divisions that so often define our lives. When we hear, the world might begin to believe that God also hears.
God who hears, we raise our voices to you. Strengthen our hope so the world may have hope in you through our faithful witness. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Thought to Remember:
Call out to the God
This week's benediction is from the New International Version.
Next week's lesson is on Exodus 23:1-12.
We are a small, rural Presbyterian church in southwestern Pennsylvania.