Family, Failure and Faith
A reasonable person might expect the lives of those early people called by God to carry out divine purpose in the world to be exemplary models of faithfulness, justice and morality. But this is far from what we find. Their stories run the gamut of human weakness, indiscretion, and even recklessness.
In short, what we find are people.
People, with all their complexities, life-giving highs and devastating lows. People trying to find their way through life, being led by a God who was still new to them. People who make up families, modeling all the blessings and curses, the joys and disappointments that come with living within those bonds.
This summer in worship we're going to trace the lives of some of our earliest spiritual ancestors, and as we wade through the unsavory and at times disturbing stories of their lives, that in some ways will be quite foreign to us, but others painfully familiar, we’ll ask questions such as:
Do these stories still speak to us today?
Is the God described here really the God we know?
If these characters aren’t moral exemplars, what are they?
What does it say about the Bible that these stories would be included?
We’ll begin this Sunday with the story of Sarah and Abraham, and the child promised to them. After that we’ll turn to two of the more troubling stories in all of scripture, first the saga between Abraham, Sarah, Hagar and Ishmael, and then God’s command for Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, his son.
From there we’ll move into the stories of Jacob and Esau, and explore this sibling rivalry that echoes throughout Scripture.
These three things we cannot escape in Scripture, and perhaps in life: family, failure and faith. I hope you’ll join us this summer as we look at how they’re all connected, and where God is in all of it.