Thursday, December 13, 2018

Advent Angels 13

Abraham has been promised that God will give him more descendants than the stars in the sky, but as he has been able to have no children with his wife Sarah, and she is now too old to expect to bear children, he can’t understand how this can be. Sarah gives him her servant girl, Hagar, so that she can bear a child for them, but then becomes jealous when her son Ishmael is born. When Sarah eventually gives birth to Isaac, Ishmael and Hagar are, essentially, not needed any more. Sarah insists that they be driven out into the desert.

Hagar knows that she and the child are bound to die there, unprotected and without water, and leaves Ishmael under a bush so that she won’t have to witness his death, but just when she had given up all hope, an angel appears to her, and points her towards a well of water, promising that she and the boy will be saved, and that God will make a great nation of them too. She has met this angel before, when she was pregnant and ran away from the ill treatment of Sarah. Then the angel sent her back, but now he leads her away to a new life.

In this story, someone who is among the most powerless people in the Bible, a powerless slave woman, is protected and honoured by God. She is a reminder that God works through people who may be overlooked by everyone else.

·         Who can you think of, in your family , church or neighbourhood whose voice might be unheard or discounted?

·         Imagine encountering their “guardian angel” – what might the angel say to you about the way they are treated, and how might you reply?

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