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Sunday Scripture Reflection: Genesis 17:1-7,15-16

Updated: Mar 1, 2021

On this Second Sunday in Lent, we will explore the story of the covenant between God and Abraham and Sarah. The main theme of our study is the idea of "making and keeping promises." We all have experienced moments when we have suffered sorrow from broken promises, and perhaps experienced guilt if we were the ones who were responsible for the broken promise. We will reflect on God's righteousness and God's unbroken promises, or covenants, with us.

Our Scripture passage is found in the Book of Genesis. You may find the Scripture lesson by selecting the following link: (Genesis 17:1-7,15-16).

For continuing study, reflect on these questions (found in the study guide below):

  • Prior to reading and reflecting on the Scripture lesson, consider the idea of "promise keeping" in one's life, and how the keeping and breaking of promises directly impacts the relationship between two people.

  • Read the Scripture lesson assigned for today: as you hear the covenant set out by God to Abraham and Sarah, consider that this is nearly the same promise God made to Abraham and Sarah about 24 years earlier. How might they feel as they wait for God to fulfill the promises outlined in the covenant?

  • After reading the "WHAT..." paragraph in the guide below, consider the parts of the covenant that God describes to Abraham, and how the "everlasting" promises might feel to Abraham. Also, consider the unilateral and exclusive elements of God's covenant, and consider how that sounds to our "modern ears."

  • After reading the "WHERE..." paragraph below, reflect and consider what is involved with giving "exclusive worship and obedience to YHWH"; and reflect on the author's statement of the tension between "divine faithfulness and creaturely unfaithfulness"...have you felt this tension in your life?

  • Reading about Abram and Sarai from Genesis, chapters 12-16 (preceding our Scripture lesson today), we discover that they were both faithful and flawed - how does this give you a deeper picture of their relationship with God?

  • After reading the "SO WHAT..." paragraph below, reflect on the statement from the author - "The pastoral gift of Genesis 17 is its reminder that at the center of our being rest blessing and promise, naming and covenant." Give some thought to your name, or to living beings you have given a name during your life (children, pets, etc.) and reflect on the power of name giving and how that draws us into relationship and connects us forever.

  • After reading the "NOW WHAT..." paragraph below, reflect on your time during this season of Lent, and give some thought to the question: "What do you trust to give you life today?"

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