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September 24 2017

Sermon: A More Intercultural Church: Hospitality

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Scripture Lesson

Genesis 18:1-14; Hebrews 13:1-2

A Son Promised to Abraham and Sarah

The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. He said, ‘My lord, if I find favour with you, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.’ So they said, ‘Do as you have said.’ And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, ‘Make ready quickly three measures of choice flour, knead it, and make cakes.’ Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

They said to him, ‘Where is your wife Sarah?’ And he said, ‘There, in the tent.’ Then one said, ‘I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.’ And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, ‘After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?’ The Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh, and say, “Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?” Is anything too wonderful for the Lord? At the set time I will return to you, in due season, and Sarah shall have a son.’

Service Well-Pleasing to God

Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.

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Sermon Outline

Rev. Jonathan Swanson
A More Intercultural Church: Hospitality
Genesis 18:1-14; Hebrews 13:1-2

I. Introduction: Grand Avenue
II. Series: A More Intercultural Church
III. Abraham’s hospitality (Gen. 18:1-8)
     A. “The LORD appeared . . . three men” (18:1-2)
     B. A story from many cultures
     C. Abraham’s service
         1. Verbs: “Ran,” “bowed,” “hastened,” “stood” (18:2, 6, 7, 8)
         2. Nouns: “Servant,” “water,” “bread,” “choice flour,” “calf” (18:3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
IV. The shift (18:9-15)
     A. “Your wife Sarah shall have a son” (18:10)
     B. This is impossible
     C. Sarah laughs playfully
     D. The question: “Is anything too wonderful for the LORD?” (18:14)
V. How do we become a more intercultural church
     A. Don’t draw our circle too small
     B. Be hospitable toward strangers
         1. Hospitality does not require agreement
         2. Hospitality is a cross-cultural concept
VI. Conclusion: “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (1967)


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