On March 24, Lauren Murtidjaja addressed Genesis 16, and referenced Genesis 21 — to talk about the story of Hagar. Hagar’s story is sandwiched in between God promising Abram a child despite his old age.
In the midst of the stories of Abram and Sarai, Hagar’s story seems to be forgotten. If she is remembered, it is generally in the context of a too-human moment of taking things into our own hands rather than trusting God. Is Hagar just an innocent bystander who happened to get roped into Abram and Sarai’s moment of faithlessness? Was she simply a means to an end, forgotten once Isaac comes into the picture?
The feminist biblical scholar, Phyllis Trible, calls this a “text of terror.” And it is. It’s one of the many biblical stories we don’t know what to do with.
So what do we do with these stories? And what do we do with Hagar?
These stories do not demand to be fixed — but to be read, and to be heard — the good, the bad, and the questionable. And if we can’t read the difficult parts of scripture in the season of lent, then when can we? Maybe by listening and not trying to fix what we feel is problematic, we can learn something from Hagar.
Hear more from Lauren in the sermon recording…