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Image credit: E Cathcart

Promise

“At times, filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus took risks, going off at strange tangents and providing creative, unexpected answers to impossible questions.” From the Scargill Community promises.

Every encounter with another person is full of creative possibility, even if we have met them many times before. Offering our time, a listening ear, and sharing who we are can result in unexpected happenings.

A community stroll along the river bank, across the stepping stones and to the local village. This multi-nationality group in the middle of the Yorkshire Dales on a winter morning provoked curiosity from a couple of passing strangers. The ensuing conversation included the words ‘modern day monks’ to describe why these diverse folk were living and working together, and the offer of an invitation to look us up.

Two weeks later, a letter came from those strangers enclosing a substantial financial sum they hoped would be useful for the work at Scargill. What an encouragement, what an unexpected gift confirming that we have a God who provides for our needs, and who promises to walk with us in the most ordinary events of our life.

 

May we laugh with you, Jesus,

when your promise comes true.

Share creative answers

to our longings and hopes,

as we question again.

May we wait for your timing,

give us patience, we pray.

May we not blunder into 

our impatient solution,

but wait and look out,

serve those you send us

with honour and care.

May we laugh with you, Jesus,

when your promise comes true.

Genesis 18: 1-15

1 The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.

3 He said, ‘If I have found favour in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. 4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5 Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way – now that you have come to your servant.’

‘Very well,’ they answered, ‘do as you say.’

6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. ‘Quick,’ he said, ‘get three seahs of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.’

7 Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8 He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.

9 ‘Where is your wife Sarah?’ they asked him.

‘There, in the tent,’ he said.

10 Then one of them said, ‘I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.’

Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, ‘After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?’

13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh and say, “Will I really have a child, now that I am old?” 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.’

15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, ‘I did not laugh.’

But he said, ‘Yes, you did laugh.’

 
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