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Activity time: 25 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers, and tape

Preparation for Activity

  • Write these questions on newsprint and post:
    • Why is this story preserved?
    • What were they trying to teach with this story?
    • What is it that we can learn?

Description of Activity

Invite participants to discuss the questions posted on newsprint. Use some of these questions to provoke, guide or further the discussion, as needed:

  • What is God's morality in this story? Why is it inconsistent? What do we learn from God's inconsistency about the people who told the story and about ourselves?
  • With whom is God aligned in this story? Who is God looking out for?
  • What is God's attitude toward the rich and powerful? What is God's attitude toward those on the margins?
  • Why doesn't God tell Sarah and Abraham to accept Ishmael as Abraham's son?
  • Does God provide justice to Hagar and Ishmael? What do we make of the salvation scene in the wilderness?
  • How does this story offer hope? How is the God in the other desert story, the manna story (Workshop 3) the same or different from this version of God?

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