This Sunday is Fathers Day (or Father’s Day or Fathers’ Day, I’m never sure). It will come as no surprise to anyone who has been following this blog for any length of time that Fathe… Day didn’t come up. I’m not opposed to celebrating mothers and fathers, or grandparents, aunties, unties, uncles, or any other group I just don’t see them falling in with the Lectionary very often. This Sunday was no different. What we do see in a couple of this week’s texts is grace.
Grace is easily seen in the Epistle lesson, Paul says “Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound?” (Rom 6:1b NRSV). I have preached whole sermons on that verse fragment, and very well could have again except I was struck by the instances of grace in the Old Testament lesson.
It is a little more difficult to see grace in this rather unpleasant story of jealousy and abandonment but it is there. Grace, which I define most often as “God’s unmerited favour” is on display to Hagar, Hagar’s child, and even to Abraham. Our visceral reaction to the notion of Abraham receiving grace after his behaviour highlights one of our problems with grace. Not to be too blunt but we don’t like grace when it is applied to other people whose actions we don’t like. This doesn’t make us especially awful, what this makes us is completely and utterly human. This also, I hope, reminds me of how much I need grace to do anything of value in this wonderful but fallen world.
Give the sermon a listen and let me know if you think I hit the mark this week or need more practice