A Theological Phrasebook entry.
Let’s circle back to Moses’ ancestor Abraham for a moment. One day God, the great I Am, decides to visit Abraham (Genesis 18). Abraham is taking a nap in the midday heat when three men show up at his door. Abraham wakes from his drowsy stupor, sees who it is (somehow he seems to have some inkling that it’s God), and leaps up and starts rushing around, giving orders, getting bread baked and livestock slaughtered, before finally standing off to the side like an attentive innkeeper while his guests eat.
It is a funny scene. God, creator of the universe, sitting in the heat, while sweaty Abraham scurries around yelling at his wife and servants. It takes time to slaughter and cook a calf. Time to bake bread. What are the three guests talking about, as they sit in the shade of Abraham’s tent?
God eats his fill and then turns to Abraham and makes a promise: “I will surely return to you about this time next year and Sarah your wife will have a son.” God had already made this promise to Abraham the chapter before but he now commits himself to a timeline and makes sure Sarah can hear it. And Sarah, who is “old and advanced in years … past the age of childbearing” responds the same way Abraham did in chapter 17: she laughs.Continue reading “Faith (Laughter and Embarrassment)”