December 04, 2017

Laughing Sarah

Genesis 21:1-7

Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”

—  Genesis 21:6

Sarah was ninety years old when she became the mother of Isaac (see Genesis 17:17). When the Lord visited Abra­ham a year earlier and said they would have a son, Sarah laughed to herself (Genesis 18:10-12). She likely thought it was impossible—and perhaps even ridiculous.

Yet later as she held her newborn son in her arms, Sarah understood that God was laughing with her. So she laughed again and urged others to laugh with her—not because the situation was funny or ridiculous, but because it was so wondrous. She even named the child Isaac, which means “laughter.”

Abraham and Sarah’s long years of disappointment at not being able to have a child ended as the joy of welcoming this baby boy filled their hearts. God had indeed brought laughter and hope, the beginning of the fulfillment of his promise to make them a great nation (Genesis 12:2).

God’s faithfulness to Sarah and Abraham is one example of how God is faithful to us. God wants to bring all of us laughter and joy.

The world’s disappointing and long years of waiting turned to a new hope with the arrival of another baby boy: Jesus. That’s what the season of Advent is about. It’s also about Christ’s coming again to bring an end to sin and death and sorrow.

Joy to the world—our Lord is coming!

Dear Jesus, we await the celebration of your birth with joy as we prepare our hearts for you. Amen.

About the author — Thea Leunk

Thea Nyhoff Leunk has been a high school English teacher, a director of Christian education, a pastor of discipleship, and a regional coach for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. She is currently the senior pastor at Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thea has also written courses for teens and young adults on world religions, Christian faith traditions, and science and the Bible. She and her husband have three adult children.

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