The Jesse Tree
First Thursday of Advent: Abraham & Sarah
A Reading from the Book of Genesis (18:1-15):
“The LORD appeared to Abraham by the oak of Mamre, as he sat in the entrance of his tent, while the day was growing hot. Looking up, he saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them; and bowing to the ground, he said, ‘Sir, if it please you, do not go on past your servant. Let some water be brought, that you may bathe your feet, and then rest under the tree. Now that you have come to your servant, let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves; and afterward you may go on your way.’ ‘Very well,’ they repled, ‘do as you have said.’
“Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, ‘Quick, three measures of bran flour! Knead it and make bread.’ He ran to the herd, picked out a tender, choice calf, and gave it to a servant, who quickly prepared it. Then he got some curds and milk, as well as the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them, waiting on them under the tree while they ate.
“‘Where is your wife Sarah?’ they asked him. ‘There in the tent,’ he replied. One of them said, ‘I will return to you about this time next year, and Sarah will then have a son.’ Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent, just behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years, and Sarah had stopped having her menstrual periods. So Sarah laughed to herself and said, ‘Now that I am worn out and my husband is old, am I still to have sexual pleasure?’ But the LORD said to Abraham: ‘Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really bear a child, old as I am?’ Is anything too marvelous for the LORD to do? At the appointed time, about this time next year, I will return to you, and Sarah will have a son.’ Sarah lied, saying, ‘I did not laugh,’ because she was afraid. But he said, ‘Yes, you did.'”
Lord God of marvels, You made Your covenant with Abraham and promised that he would be father to a great nation. Long after any other man would have given up hope, Abraham kept his faith that you would fulfill Your promise. When all seemed lost, You revealed Your will to Abraham and Sarah. Though Sarah doubted, she did bear a son, and that son would prove the first of blossom of a great tree. May we keep faith and in this Advent season look to the promise of the Son Who is the firstborn of all Creation. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.