Week 2  Day 4

what are some of the preposterous things
you have been asked to believe
      simply saying preposterous implies that
            it is impossible
            it is unreasonable
            it is hopeless

it seems bizarre to us
      that a hundred-year old man becomes a father
      that a ninety-year old woman is the mother
            Abraham and Sarah laughed and so do we

but that is the way our Lord is
      he points us to a hope that seems absurd
      he directs us to a hope that no one else sees
      he guides us to a hope that goes beyond the moment

      our lives are full of hopes
      it is what fuels the faith
            not simply what is but what can be
            not simply reality but dreams to fulfill
            not simply the present but that long corridor
                  of the future that spans generations

the Lord has a covenant with us too
      characterized by hope
      which feeds our faith 

hope in the Lord



                                         BRANDED BY GOD 
      New names, a distinguishing mark, and a clear date.
Genesis 17

    1When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared
and said to him, "I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be
blameless.  2 I will make My covenant between Me and you,
and will multiply you exceedingly."
    3Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him:
4"Behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father
of many nations.  5No longer shall your name be called
but your name shall be Abraham.  6 I will make you
fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings
shall come from you.
7 I will establish My covenant between
Me and you and your
descendants after you, for an
everlasting covenant, to be your
God.  9Also I give to you
and your descendants after you the
land in which you are
a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an
possession; and I will be their God.

    "As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your
descendants throughout their generations.  10This is My
covenant which you shall keep:  11You shall circumcise
male child in the flesh of the foreskin, and it shall be
a sign of
the covenant between Me and you.  12He who is
eight days
old among you shall be circumcised, every male
child in your
generation, he who is born in your house or
bought with
money from any foreigner who is not your

    15"As for Sarai, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah
be her name.  16 I will bless her and give you a son by
I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations;
kings of
peoples shall be from her."  17Then Abraham fell on
his face
and laughed, and said in his heart, "Shall a child be
born to a
man one hundred years old?  Shall Sarah, who is
ninety years
old, bear a child?  18 Oh, that Ishmael might
live before you!"

    19Then God said:  "No, Sarah shall bear you a son, and
shall call his name Isaac.  20As for Ishmael, I have
blessed him,
and will make him fruitful and will multiply
him exceedingly.
He shall beget twelve princes, and I will
make him a great
nation.  But My covenant I will establish
with Isaac, whom
Sarah shall bear to you at this set time
next year." 

    23So Abraham took Ishmael his son, all who were born
his house and all who were bought with money, every
male of
Abraham's house, and circumcised the flesh of
their foreskins
that very same day, as God had said to him.
                           This Bible passage was condensed from the NKJV

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