READING: Genesis 12:1-9 and Romans 4:13-25
SERMON : "The Call of Abraham and Sarah"
Rev. Richard J. Fairchild
The following is the sermon that completes the file
Sermon Outline and Liturgy for Ordinary 10 - Year A.
GATHERING AND MUSICAL PRELUDE (* = please stand)
SERMON: "The Call of Abraham and Sarah"
"Gracious God - bless now the words of my lips and the meditations
of our hearts. Breath your Spirit into us and grant that we may
hear and in hearing be led in the way you want us to go. Amen.
In some ways the children's story today said it all. (See the Original
Outline and Service for the Children's Story as listed above).
Imagine yourself blindfolded
and told to go and do some things
- just what those things are you will be told as you come to them.
Imagine in that you will have a voice to help you - but a voice
- attached to a person whom you can't see
can't even touch,
a person who communicates to you by dreams and impressions
hunches and feelings - and through the stories of your ancestors.
Yes - indeed it is.
But consider if you will the alternative.
The life that is unaccompanied by that voice.
The life that sees nothing and hears nothing beyond what these (touch
sides of head) senses tell us.
The Call to Abraham and Sarah is one of the most important stories to be
found in the whole bible.
It is the foundation story of the Old Testament -
of the people we call Israel
and it is referred to over and over again in the New Testament
where Abraham's faith - so we are told - is reckoned unto him as
righteousness - and is held up as an example for all people to emulate.
The Call to Abraham and Sarah - the call to leave all - home and family -
the comfortable and safe way of doing things and to go to a land they had
not seen - and did not possess - is call to a journey.
A Journey of Faith - where all there is for us is a promise and a presence.
The promise is that when we pack up and set forth we will be led to a
land that will be ours - ours and our descendants - and that not only
will that land be rich, but so will we.
We will be a blessed people and through us all people will be blessed.
And God will be with us.
A foundational story this story of Abraham and Sarah.
Foundational because it not only tells us about a very special couple
with a very special experience - but foundational as well because it
tells a story about us and about how God is with us,
we who are called by the scriptures "the spiritual children of Abraham"...
We are called - you and I - to a journey like that of Abraham and Sarah,
A Journey without a Map - but with a Promise
- a promise that instructions will be provided from time to time,
- a promise that God will be with us. That Christ will be with us. That
Spirit will be with us.
Like their journey, ours is and will be,
- a journey accomplished in stages
- a journey that takes a life time
- a journey in which God accompanies us
- a journey in which God from time to time does special things
- a journey in which we will sometimes falter and during which ordinary
things will happen - birth and death, sun and rain, drought and plenty.
And like their journey, our journey will result in blessing and in people
blessing themselves on account of us - it will result in the promises made
to us and through us - coming true.
Our call too is like Abraham's and Sarah's
- We are called to leave our attachments to home and family, to our
ideas of what religion is or should be - to make God our only loyalty -
to seek his approval - rather than the approval of those around us.
- We are called to be a family of God - through whose name nations will
- We are called to live the intensity of life - and the peace of life -
the harmony of life - to live with God awareness.
- we are called to be salt and light to the world - a leaven of peace -
the saving love of God.
It is wonderful.
And it sure beats living in the land of UR
- where everything is already pretty well known
- where the roles are defined and the future predictable.
It is wonderful. And it is scary.
For you do not know what tomorrow brings.
All you know is who will bring tomorrow.
That is what faith is in the end.
The faith that "was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness.".
It is a setting forth on a journey
without knowing the details of what the path will bring
but knowing that the one who brings the path to us
will do everything that he has promised to do.
Abraham's faith was reckoned to him as righteousness.
As Paul writes:
Now the words, "it was reckoned to him," were written not for
his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us
who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who
was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for
We are called to a journey.
A journey like that which was made by Abraham and Sarah.
A calling like that of Abraham and Sarah.
We will journey by stages, without a map
- but with a promise and with the presence of God to show us the way.
We will experience all of life on that journey - both good and bad
- and we will be given visions and dreams to help us on the way
We are called to a journey of faith.
And our faith is and will be - reckoned to us as righteousness,
yield to that calling - and continue on the journey - hard as it may be
from time to time
for God is good - and his promises are sure.
Blessed be the name of the God of Abraham - the God of Jesus - Day by
copyright - Rev. Richard J. Fairchild - Spirit Networks, 1999 - 2006
please acknowledge the appropriate author if citing these sermons.