Cartalk / Tabletalk: Some surprising visitors

I’ve been wondering how to help households have more conversations about faith, perhaps while driving together in the car, perhaps over the dinner table. So this is a little experiment, the idea being, if you have five minutes, you can pull out your phone, pull up a cartalk / tabletalk, and do it with your kids. If you give it a go, please let me know! This time, we’ll look at the reading we just heard on Sunday, when Abraham welcomes some suprising visitors.

  • READ: Genesis 18:1-15 (Year A Proper 6)

God appeared to Abraham at the Oaks of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance of his tent. It was the hottest part of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing. He ran from his tent to greet them and bowed before them. He said, “Master, if it please you, stop for a while with your servant. I’ll get some water so you can wash your feet. Rest under this tree. I’ll get some food to refresh you on your way, since your travels have brought you across my path.” They said, “Certainly. Go ahead.” Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. He said, “Hurry. Get three cups of our best flour; knead it and make bread.”

Then Abraham ran to the cattle pen and picked out a nice plump calf and gave it to the servant who lost no time getting it ready. Then he got curds and milk, brought them with the calf that had been roasted, set the meal before the men, and stood there under the tree while they ate. The men said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” He said, “In the tent.” One of them said, “I’m coming back about this time next year. When I arrive, your wife Sarah will have a son.”

Sarah was listening at the tent opening, just behind the man. Abraham and Sarah were old by this time, very old. Sarah was far past the age for having babies. Sarah laughed within herself, “An old woman like me? Get pregnant? With this old man of a husband?” God said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh saying, ‘Me? Have a baby? An old woman like me?’ Is anything too hard for God? I’ll be back about this time next year and Sarah will have a baby.”

Sarah lied. She said, “I didn’t laugh,” because she was afraid. But he said, “Yes you did; you laughed.” (MSG)

  • REFLECT: What do you notice about this story? What surprises, challenges or comforts you? What questions does it raise?
  • RELATE: Have you ever had a meal with strangers which has led to a surprise or blessing, or where you sensed God’s presence? Talk about it.
  • RESPOND: Is God calling you to any practical response now? Pray about it, then act.
  • REPORT: If you or your household do take action, text or email a photo of that action to Sanctuary with a brief explanation. We can use it during the service or, with your permission, add it to the Facebook page.
  • RELAX: For older teens and adults: You might also like to watch Babette’s Feast, currently on SBS On Demand.

Cartalk / Tabletalk © Sanctuary, 2020. Year A Proper 6.

Cartalk / Tabletalk

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