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FFF: 15th February 2017

It was the first in the series on Heroes & Heroines. I was asked to speak on Abraham & Sarah.

Having looked at the background of semi-nomadic living where tribes moved around from settlement to settlement for grazing & trading & found that human sacrifice was a practice of the day, we went on to look at snapshots of their lives by looking at a few stories in Genesis.

We looked at Abraham's call to go somewhere else, not actually specified, & that he would father a nation & so his journey with God began (chapter 12) We glimpsed the agony of the childless Sarah in an age when producing children was THE role of women & the unforseen consequences of offering Hagar as a surrogate mother. (Ch 16) We heard of the visitation of the mysterious godly figures (Ch 18) & thought through Sarah's laughter & how she called her son Isaac which means laughter (ch 21) Lastly we looked at chapter 22 where Abraham is told to sacrifice Isaac on the mountain. We noted our human responses of shock & abhorrence but stood back to notice that Abraham & perhaps Isaac too were sure that God would indeed provide a lamb for Abraham tells his son this & his servant that 'we will return.'

Although these stories seem a world away from ours we noted themes of waiting for God's time & how difficult that is which often leadfs us to take matters into our own hands like Sarah did. We thought about our own openess to journeying with God both physically & spiritually and how faithful & obedient they were intially & how this was tested in life as we are too. Lastly, we rejoiced with Sarah as her life was transformed on the birth of Isaac & hoped that we too would allow our lives to be transformed by the presence & promise of God.

Deacon Gill Atkinson

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