Flowers in Church

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 17 July 2022

Making Time for God.

This Sunday we have quite a theme developing in the readings, about being close to God and recognising our need for him and our need for a relationship with him. The first reading from the 18th chapter of the book of Genesis gives us a great encounter between God and Abraham. Abraham is a person who has always put his trust in God even from the very beginning, he was willing to leave the comfort of his friends and family in Ur and set out for the land that God wanted to give him and his descendants as an inheritance. We pick up the story after God has made the promise to him that he would be a father of many nations, and in the process changing his name from Abram to Abraham. We know that Abraham trusts God and is willing to make time for God and follow the directions that God gives him.

Abraham is very eager to please God, and this is very pronounced in the hospitality that he extends to his three guests. These three guests, who reply as one, are a representation of the trinity and have come to give Abraham good news about the fulfilment of the promise that he would be a farther to many nations. Abraham was very old when God fulfilled the promise that he made to him earlier in his life, and he is a good example of being patient in prayer and waiting on the Lord. Even as he waited patiently for a fulfilment of God’s promise he still jumped at the opportunity to serve the Lord, he made time for God as he waited in great anticipation.

We are very fortunate in our artistic tradition to have a great icon written by “Rublev”, depicting the meeting of Abraham and the three who came to visit him. In the icon of the three are depicted sitting down around at table, but Abraham is not represented in the Icon, instead the tree and the house are in the background giving context to the icon. It is an image of encounter and asks the viewer to enter more deeply into it as there is a place set aside for a fourth person at the front of the table. A place for someone else to sit and remain with the three. This image is a visual depiction of the great invitation to prayer and communion that God made firstly to Abraham and that he also extends to each one of us. Inviting us to make a little time each day to spend with God.

Fr Tony King-Archer

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