I've decided to preach Genesis 18:1-15 this Sunday, as part of a 3 week series I'm titling "Encounters with God." Next week our Pastor of Visitation will preach on Gen 32:22-32, Jacob wrestling with God. He'd planned on preaching that for awhile and after talking with him about what he was going to be preaching, I figured I could dove-tail two sermons on encounters with God that might be good. I'm still looking at how I want to finish up on Aug 3, maybe the woman at the well - or some other encounter with Jesus. 'Cause that's what I'm really feeling drawn to.
Anyway, a couple of rambling thoughts on Abraham's encounter with these 3 visitors:
-You've probably got to mention people seeing the Trinity here, but it's very ambiguous
- God appeared to Abraham while he was sitting there, doing nothing - having his siesta, essentially. But the text is also ambiguous - The first sentence says the Lord appeared, and sets the stage, and the second sentence begins with Abraham looking up and seeing 3 men.
- Abraham immediately springs into action with great hospitality, even though it's questionable whether Abraham recognizes immediately that this as an encounter with God or not.
- Sarah overhears the Lord's pronouncement of a child, and is drawn in to the conversation by her response. She actually moves into the circle by her unbelief and not through any great faith.
- this pericope is left open-ended, ending with God's "Yes, you did laugh" - to Sarah. It's slightly uncomfortable and it's REALLY tough to read well in worship and end with that. But there's also some beauty in ending with something very uncomfortable...