Monday, 19 July 2010

Sorry, but I sniggered ....

The Old Testament reading for yesterday, Genesis 18: 1-10a, was the story of Abraham entertaining three travellers at his tent under the oaks of Mamre. Now I know that the tale begins with "The Lord appeared to Abraham ..." thereby implying that the visitors are either an incarnation of God or angelic messengers, hence the famous icon of the meeting painted by Rublev, and which is held to be an image of the Holy Trinity.

But the divine nature of the travellers is not repeated, and as you hear the story unfold it's very easy to forget that this is supposed to be a close encounter with the numinous, and treat it as a story about hospitality - which is precisely what the Revised Common Lectionary does by pairing it with the Gospel story of Mary and Martha welcoming Jesus to their home - Luke 10: 38-42.

So with this in mind, and the incarnate nature of the visitors in the mind, the closing words caused me to grin inanely.

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."

Excuse me?

Is this guy saying what he appears to be saying?

"Where's your wife, mate? Oh, that's her in the tent is it. Cor! She's a real looker. I'll come back later and giver her one if you don't object."

And Abraham says nothing - or at least Genesis tells us nothing further for the narrative then follows two of the travellers as they journey on to Sodom and an encounter with Lot.

And if these visitors are supposed to be the Holy Trinity, why has one disappeared?

Ah - maybe he's back in the tent ....


  1. Unfortunately not. It only struck me as I sat there listening to it. Maybe in 3 years time when it comes round again!