Today’s readings are pretty straight forward.
Old Testament – Genesis 21
There are two things to notice in today’s Old Testament reading. First, recall that Hagar was the slave girl who Abraham has a son by because his wife Sarah had not yet conceived. God tells Abraham, “As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a nation of him also, since he too is your offspring.” This is an important insight. God keeps his promises even if we do things we weren’t supposed to. Second, notice this business about the well. Abraham now has the right to make claims on the land that are recognized by the surrounding people. Often, we wonder, ‘why does God make Abraham wait so long before fulfilling the promises?’ One reason seems to be that God intends part of claim to the land to be organic. The land becomes Abraham’s in part by his prolonged presence and relations with the surrounding people.
New Testament – Matthew 9
In the New Testament reading we see Jesus heal 5 people. The woman with hemorrhages, a dead girl, two blind men and a person mute because of a demon. The reading speaks generally of even more healings. In all cases it is their faith that sets them apart for God’s great mercy and healing. But notice their faith is not sit at home and pray faith. It is active faith, in which they go out and seek the Lord.