Father Abraham

A Homily for the Second Sunday in Lent

Text: Genesis 17:1-1, 15-16


Grace to you and peace from God our Heavenly Father and Christ Jesus our Lord, who fulfills the everlasting covenant. Amen.

Do you remember the song “Father Abraham”? It was a mainstay of both Sunday school and VBS for decades – and though the language is a bit dated, it goes something like this:

Father Abraham
Had many sons
Many sons had father Abraham
I am one of them
And so are you
So let’s just praise the Lord.

It’s a song about the fulfillment of God’s covenant with Abram that we read today:

As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.

The “many sons” (though it might better be understood as “many descendants” or, to fit the cadence of the song, “many heirs”) are the multitude of nations, including the family lines of Moses, Joshua, David, and through David, our Lord Jesus Christ.

But the song, short as it is, leaves out a lot of the story, so here are a few extra verses:

Continue reading “Father Abraham”

The Tide Is Turning

A Homily for the Fourth Week of Advent

Text: Isaiah 29:9-24


Grace to you and peace from God our Heavenly Father and Christ Jesus our Lord, the One who redeems the House of Jacob. Amen.

It’s a long story, with many twists and turns, and started long ago. But it went off the rails so early.

The Lord called Abraham and Sarah, and God promised to bless the world through them. But they sinned, turning instead to their own schemes, abusing Hagar and banishing her with Ishmael, Abraham’s first-born son.

The Lord called to Jacob, and blessed him, but he fought with his brother, and his sons betrayed each other.

Of their descendants came twelve tribes, and the Lord called to the entire people of Israel, but they fought amongst themselves, and turned to other gods, and they split between north and south, and their kings led them astray.

And then came the cataclysm, the Assyrians, and erased Israel from the map. And then came Babylon, and destroyed the temple, and took Judah into exile.

The night of this world is long and dark.

But the tide is turning.

Continue reading “The Tide Is Turning”