With this sermon, we begin our narrative lectionary. The narrative lectionary follows the overarching Biblical story of God and God’s people. Preaching from this lectionary will hopefully give all of us a sense of how God has been at work throughout history and of how the story of God and God’s people continues today.
Our text today is the call of Abraham, but there is a lot that has happened in Genesis leading up to this story. Chapter 12 is a new beginning of sorts, after the many other new beginnings that were told about in the first chapters: the new beginning of creation, the new beginning outside of the garden, and the new beginning after the flood.
All of those stories are the backdrop for this story, and particularly, the last few verses of chapter 11, beginning in verse 27, place this story in the context of a genealogy of Abraham’s family, which contains important information. We learn that Terah had 3 sons, Abraham, Nahor and Haran; Haran was the father of Lot; Haran died before his father, Terah; Abraham and Nahor had wives, and those wives are named in this genealogy: Abraham married Sarah, and Nahor married Milcah. And then we learn something surprising, something that isn’t usually included in genealogies: Sarah was barren. And to make sure we caught that information, this is followed by, “she had no children”. Interesting, in a genealogy, a record of family relationships and descendants, we are told that Sarah and Abraham have no children, essentially ending that family line.
- Genesis 12:1 - 9