Genesis 18:10-14, NIRV
10Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year. Your wife Sarah will have a son.”
Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent which was behind him. 11Abraham and Sarah were already very old. Sarah was too old to have a baby. 12So she laughed to herself. She thought, “I’m worn out, and my husband is old. Can I really know the joy of having a baby?”
13Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Will I really have a baby, now that I am old?’ 14Is anything too hard for me? I will return to you at the appointed time next year. Sarah will have a son.”
New International Reader's Version (NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
- Tent (or picture; miniature toy)
Sometimes we hear an idea that seems so impossible it may make us laugh. I wonder if you have an example that you would like to share with us about something that seemed so crazy that you found yourself saying, “That could never happen,” but it did! (Allow children to provide examples.)
Today’s Bible story is one of those moments that something unbelievable happened. The Lord told Abraham that his wife Sarah was going to have a baby. A woman having a baby isn’t all that unusual. Sarah had wanted a child for a long, long time. But she was very much older than most women who have babies. To her, God’s promise seemed unbelievably crazy. That’s why Sarah laughed at the thought of this idea. She heard God tell her husband Abraham while she was listening outside of their tent.
Today, while we continue to prepare for our camping experience, we will need a place to sleep that protects us from the wind, rain, or other natural elements. Have any of you slept in a tent? Have you ever made a homemade tent with blankets and set them up in your house? That is a fun thing to do. I was going to bring a tent with me today, but they’re big and sometimes hard to put together. I brought a picture of a tent. (Show a picture or —if able— bring a miniature tent with you to illustrate.) This tent will serve as a reminder of the hope that Sarah heard from outside her tent.
God likes to bring new life and new hope to people who think, “That could never happen,” or “It’s too late in my life for something like that to happen.” God’s promise would indeed come true: Sarah and Abraham would have a baby boy. And they named him Isaac, which means “one who laughs.”
God does indeed provide us with hope in life. As we pray, I will hold this tent up to remind us of how Sarah heard the voice of God from right outside the door of the tent.
God, giver of life: If I ever lose hope or think, “It’s too late for me,” please remind me of Sarah and her tent. Remind me, always, that nothing is too hard for you! Amen.