Genesis is a story not just of individuals, but of nations. Abraham and Sarah are the ancestors of Israel; Abraham and Hagar, of the nation now recognised as Islam. Other stories in Genesis relate how Moabites, Amalekites and all the rest came into being … and how they are all related! This is a more challenging cartalk / tabletalk, suitable perhaps for older children and teenagers.
- READ: Genesis 21:8-21 (Year A Proper 7)
Isaac grew, and was weaned; and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac. So she said to Abraham, “Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit along with my son Isaac.” The matter was very distressing to Abraham on account of his son. But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the boy and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for it is through Isaac that offspring shall be named for you. As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a nation of him also, because he is your offspring.”
So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, “Do not let me look on the death of the child.” And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept.
And God heard the voice of the boy; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Come, lift up the boy and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him.” Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. She went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the boy a drink. God was with the boy, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt. (NRSV)
- REFLECT: What jumps out? Who do you identify with? Who receives promises from God?
- RELATE: What are some mainstream stories about the formation of modern Australia? What might change if those stories were told by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples? How might the Genesis story speak into our national story?
- 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 children, teens and adults: You might like to watch Rabbit Proof Fence (PG) then talk about it.
Cartalk / Tabletalk
If this helped you talk about faith with your household, why not share it on social media? And why not flick us a small donation, to support our ministry of helping people of all ages grow in faith!