June 13, 2011: Ever Feel Invisible?

Posted on : Jun 14th, 2011 | By | Category: Still Speaking

Our sermon series at church this summer is: “Bad Boys and Bad Girls of the Bible – and the Gifts of Faith They Have Given Us.” In the words of Dan: “It’s kind of a ‘reality-show version’ of the Bible, but the truth is, the Bible is full of stories of less-than-stellar characters! There are a lot of “Bad Boyz and Bad Gurls” in the Bible, and they give us wonderful gifts of faith.   What’s more amazing and assuring for those of us who are “less-than-perfect Christians” is that God, yes God, is able to use us and our lives for good.”

One such story that makes one cringe is the story of Sarai and Hagar – two women living and trying to survive in a patriarchal world.  When Sarai could not get pregnant she forced her slave, a young Egyptian girl named Hagar, to sleep with her husband Abram to conceive a child. But the abuse of Hagar and Sarai’s deep sense of shame (to bear children was a woman’s main purpose in life) did not end with this act. We read in Genesis 16 that Hagar looked on her mistress with contempt. Being pregnant elevated Hagar’s status in the household, while constantly reminding Sarai of her failure as a woman. As Sarai’s shame and bitterness grew, so did her anger towards Hagar. She complained to Abram and he said to her: “Your slave-girl is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she ran away from her. Sarai acted out of a deep sense of shame and powerlessness and abused the person who was even more powerless then herself. The young Hagar – pregnant, desperate and with nowhere to turn – runs away. She flees to the desert where death surely awaits her.

So what are their gifts of faith for us? To find out, I’m sharing a wonderful reflection  I read this week, so go ahead – CLICK on the link.