Shady Ladies of the the Bible: Hagar

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey

This past Sunday was another great one. I have begun a new series called “Shady Ladies of the Bible” and I started with Hagar. Who was Hagar? She was an immature, petulant slave of Abraham and Sarah. The story of Hagar is found in Genesis chapters 15 – 21. She is called into service to be the surrogate mother of the heir to Abraham’s inheritance. After she conceives she begins to gloat that she is pregnant while Sarah couldn’t become pregnant. This didn’t go over very well with Sarah. It wasn’t long before Sarah told Abraham that he needed to get rid of Hagar. And he did. I will get back to this in just a moment.

Abraham was told by God that he would be the father of many, many offspring. Time and years went by with still no heir. Both Abraham and Sarah’s faith waivered. Then once again God told them the next year it would happen. Sarah laughed uproariously and got into trouble with God. However, it did happen and Sarah had a son. They named him Isaac, which means “laughter.”

Now back to Hagar. When she was pregnant and in the desert, the Angel of the Lord came to her and told her to go back to Sarah and Abraham. She did that and had her baby, named Ismael. The two children began to grow up together; however, Sarah didn’t like that and once again turned Hagar out. Hagar went back into the desert and found herself without water for her and her son. Listen to the talk and hear the metaphysics of this story and the meaning of these three Bible characters.

This coming Sunday, Rev. LeRoy, Steph Plourde, Kim Cowperthwaite, Janice Murphy and I will be going out to a Peace Literacy training with Paul K. Chappell. Some of you may remember when Paul came to Unity of Greater Portland in March of 2016. He left his mark on this community with his message of Peace Literacy. Here is what Paul says: “During an era when humanity has the technological capacity to destroy itself, peace literacy means survival literacy. As a child in school I spent many years learning to read and write, but I did not learn peace literacy skills. Peace literacy educates us on solving the root causes of our problems rather than merely dealing with symptoms, which is another reason why the survival and wellbeing of our country and planet depend on peace literacy.” – Paul K. Chappell, West Point graduate, Iraq War veteran, former Army Captain, Peace Leadership Director for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

As we continue to work toward fulfilling our vision of a spiritually transformed world, we believe this work is an important tool for our tool bag. We are looking for the guidance as to how we apply what we learn in this training to our work here at Unity of Greater Portland.

This coming Sunday, Matt Purinton will be speaking at the 8 a.m. service and Rev. Todd Glacy will be speaking at the 10 a.m., service followed by a Gong Journeywork workshop.

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey

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