Scripture: Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.” Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, “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. I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.
God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.”
God almighty, you call us by name, and we belong to you. Show us the path you have for us, the abundant life you promise. Help us to love others in your name. Amen.
Ways to Reflect:
Listen to or sing “The Hymn of Promise” from UMH #707 God makes a promise to the newly named Abraham and Sarah that they will have a son. This promise seems highly unlikely given their advanced age, but it is God’s promise none the less. This hymn reminds us that God’s promises often don’t look as we expect, but rather are “something God alone can see.” And yet God is faithful to those promises.
Play: Name Game
Names matter. Play this name game for a fun way to remember. You can play with folks in your household or with friends or family virtually. Go around the circle saying your name and something you like that starts with the same letter. Each person has to repeat what the people before them said, until the last person has to say everyone’s name and thing they like.
Taste: 3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies
Check out this recipe for easy shortbread cookies. Three simple ingredients make a multitude of goodness.
Watch: The Stars
Go outside on a clear night and spend a few moments watching the stars. These beautiful lights in the heavens often help us sense the grandness of God’s creation and our place in it. In Genesis 22:17, God promises to make Abraham’s descendants as numerous as the stars.
Smell: Your Favorite Fruits
Scents are powerful for memory and for connection. In the scripture, God promises Abraham will be fruitful. So, gather a couple of your favorite fruits and smell them deeply, remembering why you like them and see what memories come up when you smell fruit.