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Weekly Update from Pastor Hank – August 5

Dear Church Family and Community,

I have been thinking a lot of about Warsan Shire’s poem “Home” the last few days. I always find it hard to definitively say…“Oh, this is the artist’s best work.” I’m not even sure if artists can say that of their own masterpieces. I can, however, state what’s most impactful to me and what resonates forever in my mind and soul. Shire’s “Home” brings the refugee plight to life by using our universal understanding of home as an invitation to understanding the longing felt by people who flee their homes and then fight to make home in and among foreign peoples and places.

Of all the heart-rending pictures Shire’s words bring to the forefront in “Home”, the lines that haunt me the most are:

“…you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land”

I am haunted because these lines remind of the sacrifices my family made to get me from war in Liberia to safety here in America. I am haunted because this has been the case for millions made refugees and immigrants due to war and strife, pestilence, famine, or natural disasters. I am haunted because these lines are a lived reality for millions of people still today.

This morning I had a breakthrough while studying the binding of Isaac at Moriah. It dawned upon me that while Isaac’s home was with Abraham and Sarah, Abraham’s home was always with God. Isaac was the son of promise and the one through whom God brought laughter and joy to Sarah. The blessing of Isaac proved that God is gracious and fulfills promises. The binding of Isaac proved that all that we most treasure are gifts from God that must be stewarded for God and the kingdom.

This week we will continue our current sermon series, Called to Steward: Growing in Christlikeness, Caring, and Trust. We will do so by focusing on the call to steward our children. To help us, we will be focusing on Genesis 22:1-19. For more context in preparing for this week’s service it would be good to read and pray through Genesis 21-22:19. As you read I want you to reflect on the following questions:

…What do you feel as you read about God’s impossible request to Abraham?…What do you think Isaac and the servants feel about what’s happening?…How do you see Abraham’s faith in this passage?…How has God provided for you in impossible situations? 

Children are an incredible blessing from God. They remind us not only of ourselves, but of God who created us all. Through their eyes we relearn wonder, through their laughter we relearn joy, and in their being we relearn home.

The story of the binding of Isaac is a reminder to us that our trust must fully be and remain in God. It is a reminder that God desires us to steward it all for God and the kingdom, even and especially our children and those under our influence. To steward our children means to trust God fully, to teach them clearly about God, and to live lives of testimony that point them to God.

May the Lord continue to shine light in and through you, and may we all learn and grow in loving God and in loving one another.

God bless you all. And take care.

Hank

Love in Christ,

Pastor Hank
(Genesis 22:8)
P: (717) 561-2170, ext. 104
E: pastorhank@harrisburgbic.org

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