I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
(from “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost)
I don’t know about you, but I sometimes wonder about that road not taken — or even all those roads not taken. Robert Frost’s poem certainly tempts us to reflect on the choices and decisions which have become our life’s path. The “what-ifs” and the “what-might-have-beens.” When we had clear options, most of us made the best choice we could at the time — but how do we know it really was the best choice? And, of course, there are always other factors that influence which “road” we find ourselves on — some known to us, but beyond our control; others we have no idea what might have been working behind the scenes. And those ponderings can lead to other questions such as “Did I take the right turn?” “Am I on the road I should be on?” “Is there really a right road after all?” “And where is God in all this — directing the way? Controlling the way? Groaning at our choices? Aloof?”
This Sunday we will be looking at a part of the Abraham / Sarah story from Genesis that involves some “wrong turns” on the part of the patriarch and matriarch of our faith tradition. (I can’t resist using the wisdom of Yogi Berra: when they came to a fork in the road, they took it!) To be blunt, Abraham and Sarah not only made some bad choices, as well as some wrong turns, but they also were fairly brutal with others who crossed them on those paths.
I’d like for us to think about what this story has to say about what God does with our bad choices or wrong turns. We understand forgiveness, even if we have a hard time accepting it. But is forgiveness God’s only response? We also understand “new life” and “transformation”, but what does that “cost” God? The title of the sermon is “God’s Creative Grace” — I hope you will consider with me what the creative and creating God of love and grace and new life has to say to us as we look at this fascinating story this Sunday.
I look forward to seeing you in worship!