"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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Get inspired to preach more effective sermons in these trying times at the Craft of Preaching conference Oct. 5-7, featuring Joy J. Moore, Kenyatta R. Gilbert, and Jared E. Alcántara.
God's Promise to Abraham
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 of going on safari in Tanzania several years ago.1
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 of a “great nation” if you don’t have even one child. ...
| Bible Text
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
2020-21 Worship Resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL Podcast 417: God's Promise to Abraham
September 20, 2020
Podcast on the Narrative Lectionary readings for Sept. 20, 2020, (God's Promise to Abraham) featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker. Recorded on Aug. 10, 2020, via Zoom for Working Preacher.