God said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall come from her." Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said to himself, "Can a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Can Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?" And Abraham said to God, "O that Ishmael might live in your sight!" God said, "No, but your wife Sarah shall bear you a son, and you shall name him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. As for Ishmael, I have heard you; I will bless him and make him fruitful and exceedingly numerous; he shall be the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this season next year." And when he had finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham.
Then Abraham took his son Ishmael and all the slaves born in his house or bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very day, as God had said to him. Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. And his son Ishmael was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. That very day Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised; and all the men of his house, slaves born in the house and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him. Genesis 17:15-27
An old man in conversation with God
aching to save his people and his land
a fierce and tender leader exposed
opening his heart to the Creator of all.
God walked with the sinewy elder
promising that the impossible would become
new life to this newly arrived pilgrim
offspring of a faithful nomadic tribe.
Abraham laughed falling down
face down in the red clay earth
rolling in the dust in the scorching sun
his old bride covering her wrinkled face.
And the Creator persisted in bringing life
despite their limitations and unbelieving
God insisted in new life to the old and weary
asking for a change of name and way of life.
We laugh and hedge when God calls
testing the Creator with our practical understanding
rational and sincere in our human credulity
God invites us again to observe miraculous
and trust in the foolish wisdom of the faithful.