Friday, December 13, 2013

please stay awhile with me, your servant


Abraham bowed facedown on the ground and laughed. He said to himself, “Can a man have a child when he is a hundred years old? Can Sarah give birth to a child when she is ninety?” Genesis 17:17

This is not a good laugh. This is pretty much an ironic laugh of hopeless despair. But still Abraham acted on the promise, even though his mind and heart could not quite believe God’s promises because he had been waiting for oh so long.

And even though his heart and mind could not quite believe God’s promises, he gathered Ishmael, all the males born in his camp, and the slaves he had bought. So that day Abraham circumcised every man and boy in his camp as God had told him to do.

And in addition to underscoring the importance of xenia, hospitality, which is all over The Odyssey, we find out that Sarah also laughed, not a good laugh.   And of course although I do not know exactly why God commanded Abraham to name his son Laughter, I imagine that it was so that every single time he and Sarah called that name, as in “Laughter, come pick up your sandals,” or “Laughter, come to dinner,” it would be a reminder of God’s faithfulness and that He is a God of Kept Promises.