Scripture: Genesis 11:27-12:8
Key verses: (12:1-3) 1Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Reflection: In our Elementary Sunday School we use a Rotation format. Instead of children staying put in one classroom all year, they rotate to different workshops each Sunday. For a month they dig deep into one particular Bible story and engage with it in different ways: Art, Games, Storytelling, Science/Mission, Cooking, or Movie. There is lots of activity, creativity and fun, all while foundational stories of the Bible are being learned by children with a variety of learning styles.
One of our first stories when we began last year was Abraham and Sarah. The children explored the promise made by God to Abraham in several ways. They retold the story themselves, acting it out with props and costumes. They moved around a giant game board to help recall what happened. They explored the science of stars, and created art with sand, as they learned about God’s promise to make Abraham and Sarah’s descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand in the desert. In the Movie workshop they watched parts of a film called Abraham, starring Richard Harris and Barbara Hershey.
During the movie we see Abraham and Sarah age markedly. As their faces wrinkle, and their bodies change, they stay on the move, traveling through wilderness, encountering strangers and enemies and enduring hardship and family troubles. It is a very long way, and a very long time, between God’s covenant promise to bless them, and the birth of Isaac, the beginning of the fulfillment of the promise. But Abraham trusts God. His faith is the kind that believes in a future a long way off, and doesn’t give up easily. We have something to learn from this story of years of trust in God. In a time when we are accustomed to quick results, to measuring data and improving the outcome ourselves, Abraham and Sarah teach us about faith in a promise that might not be about next week or even next year. It might not even be about us. What it takes to hang in there until the promise is fulfilled is a few people of faith, who are willing to walk on a long road to an unknown place, believing that God walks with them.
Prayer: God of the covenant, you have promised to be with your people. Keep me walking with you in faith, trusting that even when I can’t see you at work, you are there. As you have blessed me, help me be a blessing to others. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Author: Julie Hester
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].