The Narrative Lectionary drops us toward the end of Abraham and Sarah’s story, in Genesis 18:1-15. This prompted me to create two separate Cartoonist’s Guides this week to help the preacher teach this story.
A Story of Laughter
The first is a big picture overview that traces God’s Promise to Abram and Sarai from chapter 12 through chapter 21. God told Abram and Saria that, even though they were biologically too old to have children, they would become the parents of a great nation through which God would bless ALL nations.
They laugh at God.
Their laughter is the deflection of disbelief. They try to mask their own pain of being barren with nervous giggles. They try to fulfill God’s Promise on their own terms and it produces Ishmael and literally a world of conflict.
Ultimately, God transforms their laughter into joy. Isaac means laughter, and he is miraculously born to the barren woman. This is how God works. And this is how we wrestle with God’s Promises.
Flip through the slides below. Or click this button to download the PowerPoint and image pack
A Story of Hospitality
The second PowerPoint zooms in and walks through every word of Genesis 18:1-15. This might be a fun way to read the text with the congregation.
This particular story can be read through multiple lenses. The first can be Sarah’s laughter of disbelief. This is a good way to tie it into the overarching theme of the previus Guide.
The second has to do with hospitality. The LORD (Yahweh) shows up on Abraham’s doorstep as three travelers. Abraham’s first instinct is to welcome them and serve them dinner. This is a picture of the Kingdom of God. It is table fellowship with the stranger.
It think this is an important theme because the very next story is that of Sodom and Gomorrah. The LORD shows up to their doorstep and, instead of being welcomed with hospitality, is threatened with gang-rape. It is not a pretty picture.
Flip through the slides below. Click on the button if you would like to download the PowerPoint and image pack.