DATE: 27 September 2015TO: Manantial de Gracia
TITLE: “They got ‘em from their Daddy”
Genesis 19: 30-36
30 Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. 31 One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children—as is the custom all over the earth. 32 Let’s get our father to drink wine and then sleep with him and preserve our family line through our father.”
33 That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and slept with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
34 The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I slept with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 35 So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
36 So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father.
Song: De Colores (Sing of Colors) #42 (NCH)
“They got ‘em from their Daddy”
So, there is a story that most of us have committed to memory. It is the story of Lot and his family. Lot, his wife, and his two daughters are running away from Sodom and Gomorrah as the city was being destroyed by God. Though God had told them not to look back, suddenly Lot’s wife turns and in an instant she is transformed into a pillar of salt. And the sole survivors of the devastation and loss of the city are Lot and his two daughters. But we missed the point, we missed the beginning, and we missed the story!
This week as we keep thinking about who is welcome into the church…our church…any church. As we talk about who is welcome into the kindom of God, I wondered how often we have been excluded or how often we have excluded those who are wrong…or wronged. When I say this I am thinking of those times when there is an obviously “wronged party”…
This is a tougher than normal topic, when we think about welcome, I wonder if there is room for the abuser (as well as the abused?). Is there room for the bad as well as the good? Should both be welcome?
Abraham talks to the Lord (Genesis 18)
The story of Sodom and Gomorrah actually begins with a conversation between Abraham and “the Lord”. The Lord is sharing news with Abraham about what is about to happen in that place: The Lord says, “The complaints about Sodom and Gomorrah are so great and their sin so bad that I am going there PERSONALLY to see if what people are saying is for real.”
Abraham, hears this and immediately begins to haggle with the Lord on behalf of the good people… “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare[e] the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” And the Lord responds that if there are 50 righteous people to be found the city of Sodom will be spared for their sake.
And then Abraham gets to talking and pleading and he says, “what is there are 5 less than 50? For 45 people, if the city is short 5 good people will you destroy it?” I wont destroy it!
How about if there are only 40? …I won’t destroy it!
Don’t get mad at me Lord, but how about for 30? I won’t do it. I won’t destroy it.
Lord, since I have already been so bold, let me be even bolder, how about for 20? For the sake of 20 all will be saved.
Well, Lord, don’t get mad, but let me bug you a bit longer…how about for the sake of 10? I won’t destroy it for 10.
Then the Lord left and Abraham went home.
Lot survived (Genesis 19)
Let me explain that the word righteous means morally right or justifiable; virtuous.
I am not going to get into the many ways in which this particular story has been used to oppress, degrade or exclude people from the kindom of God. Instead I will state what we already know, only Lot, his wife, and his two daughters made it out of Sodom and Gamorrah. And only Lot and his daughters survived past chapter 19.
Lot and his two daughters settle in a cave and after some time has passed, the eldest daughter said to the youngest, dad is getting old and we are going to be alone and childless… “Let’s get our father to drink wine and then sleep with him and preserve our family line through our father.” That night the oldest daughter slept with him without him knowing…and when she became pregnant, the youngest daughter decided that she also would do the same, in order to “preserve the family line through him.”
According to the scriptures each of Lots daughters became pregnant by him and each daughter had a son. The eldest named her son Moab (Moabites) which means “from Father” and the youngest had a son whom she named Ben-Ammi (Ammonites) which means “son of my Father’s people.”
Excluded –vs- Welcome (Deuteronomy 23: 3-6)
Who was welcome into the kin’dom of God? Who should we welcome into the church of Christ?
According to the Hebrew Scriptures the sons of Lot and his daughters became the Moabites, they spoke a dialect of Hebrew and were closely related to the Israelites…after all, they were related to Abraham. But the Moabites and the Ammonites where excluded from the Jewish community. According to Deuteronomy 23:3–6:
No one born of a forbidden marriage[b] nor any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord, not even in the tenth generation.
No Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord, not even in the tenth generation. For they did not come to meet [the Isralites] with bread and water on when [you] came out of Egypt, and they hired Balaam son of Beor from Pethor in Aram Naharaim[c] to pronounce a curse on you.
Loved by God (Matthew 1)
The Christian Text’s shows us a different type of welcome…here we find that in Jesus and through Jesus, each of us can be welcomed into the household of a loving God…
The genealogy of Jesus includes both the abuser and the abused. In this case, while the Moabites had previously publicly been excluded from a relationship with the Isrealites/Jews, in the genetic makeup of Jesus we have a Moabite woman (Ruth), through his birth we are able to view a form of welcome into the kinship…
That doesn’t mean that it is easy, or simple, or always feasible, or safe to welcome both the abuser and the abused into the same community of worship, but it means that they are both equally loved by God and welcome into the household of our Creator.
In the UCC, many of our churches have created Covenants of Behavior with congregants who have previous histories of questionable behaviors. These are created and instituted to allow access into the congregational relationship in a way that is acceptable, healthy, helpful, and safe. If you are ever in a situation that feels unsafe, please do not hesitate to reach out to your church…
De colores… Con todas nuestras diferencias, Dios nos amo… Nos ama… Nos sigua amando. Tal como somos. Con todo lo que hemos hecho.
Let us pray: “God, help us to break our silence in difficult situations, when we ourselves or others are being mistreated and misused. Give us the courage of our convictions and the volume we need to change the status quo. Amen.” (1)
(1) September 25, 2015, “I Am Dangerous” Written by Molly Baskette for Worship Ways
“On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat on the platform, and delivered a public address to them. The people kept shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a mortal!” And immediately, because he had not given the glory to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.” – Acts 12:21-23