This Sunday our worship service will center around God's covenant promise to Abram/Abraham.
You have to write his name in that funny way -- Abram/Abraham -- because God changed it. The name change itself has significance, but the promise is even more significant. In fact, it is stunning.
The promise is so stunning that God has to repeat it over and over again in the book of Genesis and throughout scripture. In Genesis 17 God promises Abram that he will be the "Father of a Multitude" and thereby changes his name to Abraham. When the promise is repeated in Genesis 22 (to Abraham) and Genesis 26 (to Isaac) and Exodus 32 (to the people of Israel) the extra detail is added that Abraham's descendants will be "as numerous as the stars in the sky."
This Sunday we'll talk about God's promises to the generations, and what it means to be a star in the constellation of God's covenant promise.
Genesis 17: 1-7, 15-16
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.’ Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, ‘As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.
God said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.’