by Christopher Harbin

This content is part of a series.

NOTE: Two sermons outlines are included in this download.

First Day after Pentecost
Series: Pentecost Devotional
Christopher Harbin
Genesis 16:13

‘‘So she named the LORD who spoke to her, ‘You are El-roi’; for she said, ‘Have I really seen God and remained alive after seeing him?’’’ Genesis 16:13

Hagar was not the first outsider to be accepted into the circle of Yahweh’s people, but we find her here in the wilderness as an escaped slave girl fleeing the abuse of Sarai who had forced her to become a concubine to Abraham. She was a slave, a foreigner, a woman suffering abuse, and now a runaway slave in danger of dying of thirst, hunger, and exposure.


Second Day after Pentecost
Series: Pentecost Devotional
Christopher Harbin
Matthew 2:1-2

‘‘When Jesus was born in the village of Bethlehem in Judea, Herod was king. During this time some wise men from the East came to Jerusalem and said, ‘Where is the child born to be king of the Jews? We saw his star in the East and have come to worship him.’’’ Matthew 2:1-2

Matthew’s birth narrative has some surprising elements to it. Perhaps we are too accustomed to reading his narrative to recognize how surprising these elements are or should be. After all, these are stories we have heard and read from childhood, and they do not strike us with surprise in large part for their familiarity. Matthew recalls the foreigners in Jesus genealogy. He deals with Mary as being pregnant out of wedlock. Then he introduces the magi, foreigners who worshipped the stars as gods, coming to pay homage to Jesus.

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