Genesis 21: 8-21

New Resources

  • Proper 7A (2020)

    by Amanda Benckhuysen
  • Remembering Hagar

    by Bob Cornwall
  • Exegesis (Genesis 21:1-21)

    by Richard Donovan
  • Proper 7A

    by Laurinda Hafner
    Scroll down the page for this resource.
  • Proper 7A (2020)

    by J. Thomas Johnson
  • Sermon Starters (Proper 7A)(2020)

    by Stan Mast
    As I wrote the above comments, I heard two songs in my heart, both by William Cowper: “O for a Closer Walk with God” and “God Moves in a Mysterious Way.” Those are two of the best loved old hymns of the church, but Cowper himself experienced little of the grace of which he wrote. Tormented that he had committed the unpardonable sin and hounded by rumors of an illicit affair, he had a nervous breakdown. He attempted suicide several times and spent time straight-jacketed in a mental institution for his own protection. For the last quarter of his life, he avoided church entirely. What are we to make of such a man? Was he a hypocrite, a fake, perhaps an Ishmael? Or was he a struggling believer caught in the furious opposites of life, who was able to express his faith only in his music. In one of his other hymns, one spurned by many church-goers because of its emphasis on the blood of Christ, we hear his testimony. After beginning with “there is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins,” it sings “redeeming love has been my theme and shall be ‘til I die.” That redeeming love was the theme of Abraham’s life, the straight strong line that ran through the best and worst of times.
  • Loving the Outsider

    by Jim McCrea
  • Proper 7A

    by Howard Wallace et al

Illustrated Resources from the Archives

  • The God of the Outcasts

    by Mickey Anders
    One day, in order to get a class discussion going, sociology professor Tony Campolo asked his students what some of the world's great religious leaders might have said about prostitution. The discussion was lively and intense. He was setting up the class to evangelize, and when he felt that the time was ripe, he asked what seemed to be the crucial question, "What do you suppose Jesus would have said to a prostitute?" He was all primed to point out to the class the compassion and understanding which Jesus had for the colorful women of the night. He was all set to do his best to make Jesus look greater than all the great religious leaders put together. Once again he asked, "What do you think Jesus would have said to a prostitute?" One of his students answered, "Jesus never met a prostitute." He jumped at the opening. He would show this guy a thing or two about Jesus and about the New Testament. "Yes he did," he responded. "I'll show you in my Bible where...." The young man interrupted him. "You didn't hear me Doctor. I said Jesus never met a prostitute."...
  • Envy: Sarah Was a Woman

    Modern Poem by Edna Aphek
  • Proper 7A (2017)

    by Doug Bratt
    Kids Hope USA is an organization that creates partnerships that pair church members with local students who are at risk in supportive, mentoring relationships. Its mentors spend an hour a week doing things like reading, talking and listening to, as well as playing with a student whom most people overlook, except to scold him or her. On its website,, the organization tells the story of eight year-old Sam. She felt invisible on the playground as well as in the classroom. Sam felt like she was being left behind, unseen and largely uncared for. When her Kids Hope mentor Kim entered her life, she called Sam by her name. She listened to Sam without interrupting or correcting her. Kim saw Sam in a way she thought no one had ever seen Sam before. Sam’s sense of invisibility slowly began to melt under the unstinting, loving gaze of Kim. For the first time, she felt important. After all, someone who knew her name made her feel special and valued.
  • The Voice of a Child

    Poetic Sermon by Frank Fisher
  • Sibling Rivalry

    by Eric Folkerth
  • Sarah and Hagar

    by Linda Hirschhorn
  • God Hears

    by David Leininger
  • How NOT to Be the Father of the Year

    by David Leininger
    ("One of my colleagues has written, 'My ex-husband is remarried and he and his new wife have a young child. I have only met this child once and I didn't like him. A small, innocent child and I resented him. Why? I have a son with the same father. My son will get less attention, less money, less inheritance, less love because this other kid now gets some...")
  • Call Me Ishmael

    by Susan Leo
  • God Will Provide

    by David Martyn
  • Proper 7A (2008)

    by Robert Morrison
    ("When a friend and her siblings were growing up, the whole family was quite content attending and participating in the life of a congregation - she said she didn't really think of it as conservative...")
  • Birth Stories

    by Michael Ruffin
    The Western “The Big Valley” aired on ABC from 1965–1969. It was the story of the Barkley family, made up of matriarch Victoria and the children, now adults, she had with her late husband Tom: Jarrod, Nick, Audra, and the seldom-seen Eugene. Then there was Heath, whom the voice in one of the show’s trailers described as “the outsider.” He was Tom’s son but not Victoria’s. His struggle to be considered and included as a full member of the family created much dramatic tension. Ishmael was the outsider in Abraham’s family, which seems odd when you consider that he was Abraham’s first-born son in a time when the first-born son occupied an honored position
  • Exile in the Desert

    Narrative Sermon by Pamela Tinnin
  • Men Are From Venus Too

    by Keith Wagner
  • Not Easy to Let Go

    by Keith Wagner
    ("After Robinson Crusoe was shipwrecked and stranded on a desert island, he began to take stock of his condition. He drew up two columns. In one he noted what was bad about his situation and the other what was good about it. He was cast on a desolate island, but he was still alive. He had no companions, but he had food. He was wearing only rags, but because of the warm climate he didn't need clothing...")
  • Images of Hagar/Ishmael

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard
  • Movies/Scenes Representing Call

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard

Other Resources from 2017 to 2019

Other Resources from the Archives