"Great Catch of Fish," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Genesis 15:1-6 Commentary
by Kathryn M. Schifferdecker
The stars of a Serengeti night are enough to take your breath away.
I had the privilege three years ago of going on safari in Tanzania. One of my most vivid memories of that trip is of staring into the sky with my husband in the middle of the night, no electric light obscuring our view. The dark velvet sky was simply blanketed with brilliant stars from horizon to horizon. An astronomer friend of ours told us later that we were staring into the center of our own galaxy, and indeed, over our heads was a wide band of milky white punctuated by countless stars, a part of the sky so dense with stars that there was no visible space between them.
I like to imagine that it is this kind of night sky that Abraham sees in our reading for today. Abraham (who is still called Abram in this chapter) is doubting God’s promise given to him back in chapter 12, the three-fold promise of land (Genesis 12:7), blessing (12:2-3), and many descendants (12:2).
It is this last part of the promise that is especially difficult to believe. It is impossible to be the ancestor ...
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2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
2020-21 Worship Resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL232: Abraham's Descendants
September 18, 2016
This Narrative Lectionary podcast discusses Genesis 15:1-6, the reading for Sept. 18, 2016.