Monday 09 November 2020

Bible Book:

'I am a foreigner and stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead.' (v. 4)

Genesis 23:1-19 Monday 9 November 2020

Psalm 20


Our readings this week are about the family of Abraham – the patriarch of all the Abrahamic religions – so it seems appropriate that we are exploring them during Interfaith Week. Despite these events taking place millennia ago, today’s reading is one that would not be out of place today. It’s a story of a foreigner in an unfamiliar land who has lost his wife and doesn’t have the land to bury her. Our headlines at the moment seem full of similar stories, as refugees are forced to take dangerous journeys to freedom, and not all survive.

The photo shows a square decorated by an Iranian refugee about her experience, and her story shares many similarities with that of Abraham. She was travelling to a new country and lost a loved one on the journey. In her loss she longed for a place that she could call home. The square was decorated as part of the ‘Little Squares of Hope’ project run by the Council of Christians and Jews, with the Jewish Museum, London and JW3 (Jewish Community Centre London). It brings together the stories of a variety of refugees, through combining their artwork.

Both our Bible passage and these works of art show what it means to be human. They show our capacity to love, to mourn, and to desire a place of our own. Thousands of years on from Abraham this story repeats itself, but so too does the comfort God offers. Sometimes God directly comforts Abraham and ourselves. However, sometimes God’s comfort is shown through the care of others from Ephron the Hittite who offered to provide Abraham with what he needed most, to people working with refugees today. And we, too, can be people who God uses to love and care for others.

To Ponder:

  • Why was it so important to Abraham that he bought the land instead of accepting it as a gift?
  • How can we be someone God works through to help those in need?
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