February 2 – Day 33 Laughing with God
Abraham fell on his face and laughed. He said to himself, Can a 100-year-old man become a father, or Sarah, a 90-year-old woman, have a child? 18 To God Abraham said, “If only you would accept Ishmael!”
19 But God said, “No, your wife Sarah will give birth to a son for you, and you will name him Isaac. I will set up my covenant with him and with his descendants after him as an enduring covenant. 20 As for Ishmael, I’ve heard your request. I will bless him and make him fertile and give him many, many descendants. He will be the ancestor of twelve tribal leaders, and I will make a great nation of him. 21 But I will set up my covenant with Isaac, who will be born to Sarah at this time next year. 22 When God finished speaking to him, God ascended, leaving Abraham alone.
23 Abraham took his son Ishmael, all those born in his household, and all those purchased with his silver—that is, every male in Abraham’s household—and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that same day, just as God had told him to do. 24 Abraham was 99 years old when he circumcised the flesh of his foreskin, 25 and his son Ishmael was 13 years old when the flesh of his foreskin was circumcised. 26 That same day Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised. 27 All the men of his household, those born in his household and those purchased with silver from foreigners, were circumcised with him.
The Gospel of John 11:38-46
38 Jesus was deeply disturbed again when he came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone covered the entrance. 39 Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said, “Lord, the smell will be awful! He’s been dead four days.”
40 Jesus replied, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believe, you will see God’s glory?” 41 So they removed the stone. Jesus looked up and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. 42 I know you always hear me. I say this for the benefit of the crowd standing here so that they will believe that you sent me.” 43 Having said this, Jesus shouted with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his feet bound and his hands tied, and his face covered with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.”
45 Therefore, many of the Jews who came with Mary and saw what Jesus did believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
Comment: the answer to our prayers rarely looks like what or how we imagined it would be!
Psalm 22:19-24 (CEB)
But you, Lord! Don’t be far away! You are my strength! Come quick and help me!
20 Deliver me from the sword. Deliver my life from the power of the dog.
21 Save me from the mouth of the lion. From the horns of the wild oxen you have answered me! 22 I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; I will praise you in the very center of the congregation!
23 All of you who revere the Lord—praise him! All of you who are Jacob’s descendants—honor him! All of you who are all Israel’s offspring— stand in awe of him! 24 Because he didn’t despise or detest the suffering of the one who suffered— he didn’t hide his face from me. No, he listened when I cried out to him for help.
Comment: What kind of a God do we serve? One who does not despise or detest the suffering. Other religions were quick to write off the weak, but the Lord God was a friend to all who called upon his name for help.
Prayer: You, O God, are the well-spring of my life. Pour into my heart the living water of your grace so that it overflows onto others. Amen. (Common Book of Worship)