Genesis 17:1–7, 15–16 God’s covenant with Abram and Sarai
Read Genesis 17:1–7, 15–16 or listen to the audio story “Without Any Argument” or gather around as someone tells the story “Star Promise” that is in this week’s children’s activity leaflet.
“To make it clear that this was a special new beginning, God asked them to change their names to Abraham and Sarah.”
See Rabbi Mo’s answer to the question “Why do biblical names change?”
Throughout Abraham’s long life, God communicated to him over and over again, guiding Abraham and Sarah to leave their country and travel long distances overland. When Abraham and Sarah were very old, God made a promise to them. God promised to bless them and their children and their children’s children through future generations. While Abraham and Sarah were surprised by God’s promise, it was a great comfort to know that the generations that followed them would also know God’s goodness.
Set out a pitcher of drinking water and a glass for everyone.
Water is part of God’s goodness; water connects all living things; it connects us with past generations and future generations. Pour everyone a small glass of water. Drink it during your time together.
• Talk about what water means to you and how you enjoy it.
Autumn Peltier is a First Nations young person living in Ontario, Canada, who recognizes God’s goodness in God’s gift of water. She worries that the generations that follow might not have clean water to drink. Autumn became an inspiration for people in Canada and worldwide as a water protector and advocate and was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize. You can read more about Autumn’s advocacy here.
• Talk about ways you might protect and care for water in your community so future generations will be able to enjoy it.
Listen as Robert Munsch tells his story “Love You Forever.“
The mother’s love – like God’s love – crosses generations and times.
• How might you remind one another that God’s goodness and love are forever and always?
Robert Munsch says, “The way I sing the song in the story is just MY version. You are supposed to make up your own.”
• Together work on your version of the song.
Print this week’s children’s activity leaflet, which includes the story “Star Promise,” instructions for a star name badge, and a star twirler.
During the week
This is the last Sunday of Black History Month in North America. Consider reflecting on the legacy of trauma caused by the enslavement and forced migration of people of African descent. What is the effect of generational trauma that you can see in your community? For more information read the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent. See also “Anti-Black Racism and the Legacies of Slavery.”
This week’s reading from Genesis 17, with God’s covenant to create nations from Abraham’s and Sarah’s descendants is a suitable time to look at what nations are present in your community and how the idea of nation has affected them.
Think about the ways you create signs of promise. Think about the things you make – meals, art, repairs to objects, gardens. What promises do they convey? How do your interactions with others bring promise to the world?
Choose one thing you usually do and do it intentionally as a sign of promise to the world.
Visit Lection Connection, February 28, for current events that connect with this week’s scriptures.
Prayer for each day
from generation to generation,
we marvel at the marvelous things that you have done. We offer you our thankfulness and praise. Amen.
Sing the song “To You O God”