Prayer: Dear God, may our reality reveal you at work in our lives. Amen
Reading: Genesis 21: 8-21 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: Reality TV has to be fake. Do people really act like that in real life? With camera crews following them? Surely it's all for luring viewers and selling commercials. I only need to land on a reality tv show for 10 seconds and I am already rolling my eyes saying, "Oh puh-lease!"
Then we read the 21st chapter of Genesis and it's like an episode of Real "Housewives" of the Old Testament. Sarah and Hagar are fighting. Abraham is caught in the middle. There are two sons yet only one of them is referred to by name. To find out the other son's name you have to go way back to chapter 16. But why bother? Looks like the nameless son is going to be a goner soon anyway. Yet, things turn around. Reality Bible.
Why do I have more patience for Reality Bible than Reality TV? Probably because God is revealed and at work in the Bible stories. Truth be told, there is a lot of drama in my own life. Things that others might watch and say, "Oh, puh-lease!" If a camera crew was following me, my only hope would be that somehow it would be revealed that God is at work in Reality Ruth, too. --Ruth Gates
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