Psychology has taught us all sorts of interesting things and one of the ones at the top of my mind at the moment is the concept of “priming.” This is the reason after you buy a new/different car you seem to see the same make and model “everywhere” when you never saw them before. It isn’t that there are suddenly more of them, instead, you have been “primed” to see. This explains why we see what we expect to see and is one of the techniques illusionists use.
Today’s sermon is drawn from the Old Testament lesson for this Sunday, Genesis 18:1-10a, where Abraham welcomes three strangers more effusively than hospitality requires. Abraham saw these strangers as representatives of God, or perhaps even as God because he was primed to see God due to his previous experiences. I was curious to explore what someone who was not similarly primed might have thought if they witnessed Abraham’s interaction with the strangers.
The sermon begins with an introduction, recorded in my basement, explaining why this sermon is a bit different. As always, let me know what you think.