Lent I // Sunday, February 22 // Nancy E. Petty Preaching
Sermon Title: Islam and Christianity: One God, One Humanity
Text: Genesis 9:8-17
Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9‘As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark.* 11I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ 12God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.’ 17God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.’
Notes: The biblical texts for Lent this year focus on God covenant(s) with humanity. The Christian narrative, which includes the Hebrew scriptures, proclaims and affirms that God’s covenant is with all flesh—all humanity. Many in our world, of all faith traditions, are struggling with the notion of One God, One Humanity—in some cases simply because we call God by different names. The question this sermon will address is: What in our thinking, speaking, and acting do we need to change so that the living out of our faith gives witness to One God, One Humanity? How do we live as Christians in such a way that affirms that God’s covenant is with all flesh?
Questions for Reflection:
- Why are we still threatened by the idea of “our God” being the same as “their God?” What do we have to lose?
- How do we handle the fact that we may accept one God, but others reject that idea and us?
- How do we respond in the face of hatred?