This text is used for the Lectionary Year A on June 18, 2017.
“When Faith Turns a Smirk into a Smile”
Laurens Vander Post, a South African explorer who lived among the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert, realized that they would only tell “their stories” to him after months of living in their midst. First, they had to trust him. For to them, their stories possessed the secrets of their soul. To tell their stories was to risk their lives. If an enemy came to possess their stories, they would be destroyed.
Like them, most of us are only willing to tell our personal stories to people we believe are trustworthy. We want people to laugh with us, not at us. We don’t want our stories to be distorted and spread around for others to trample upon. We are vulnerable as we share our stories.
The Bible is God’s storybook. God wants us to know His story. Not because He thought everyone would love Him because of the stories, though that was His hope. Not that He thought everyone would get it, though that was His aim. Not that He thought everyone would live better lives because of lessons learned from the stories, though that motivation moved Him. He had the stories written because they give witness to His glorious acts of salvation and that whosoever had “the eyes to see and the ears to hear” would personally trust God enough to step into the salvation being offered.
The Laughing Side of Faith
God is a promise maker and a promise keeper. Abram & Sarai were called out from the land of Ur as people of promise. Through them, God would reveal the Promise Land. Theirs is an intriguing story of how God can draw out extraordinary growth by stretching believers into extraordinary levels of courageous faith. Abram and Sarai became Abraham & Sarah (Genesis 16-17) by seeing the shortcomings of their current level of faith and being stirred by God into a new faith dimension.