Second Sunday in Lent, Year B, Old Testament Lesson
Scripture: Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
This week we travel further into the book of Genesis to learn about God’s covenant with Abraham and Sarah (Formerly: Abram and Sarai.) Abram and Sarai were faithful followers of God. For many years Abram and Sarai followed where God sent them. God promised to make Abram’s off-spring “as numerous as the stars in the heavens” (Genesis 15:5) but Sarai’s womb remained barren. Now, in their old age, God makes a new covenant with Abram. As a sign of the covenant God changes their names to Abraham and Sarah and, once again, promises that Sarah will have a child – a son. What we do not hear in this passage is that Abraham and Sarah laugh in response to God’s promise, they cannot believe that in their old age they will finally have the child they have desired so long. However, God is, indeed, faithful to this promise. This week we learn the importance of a name. Just as we are called by name at our baptism, God calls Abraham and Sarah by a new name before sending them into a new calling: to be the parents of a new nation.