In "Building Bridges," a Tapestry of Faith program
Tell participants that Jews are called God's Chosen People because of a covenant formed between Abraham and God, described in the biblical Book of Genesis. Biblical archaeologists and historians date this event at approximately the 15th century BCE. At the time the covenant was formed, Abraham had the name Abram, and his wife's name was Sarai. Invite participants to listen for the names of Abram and Sarai in this story—they are the same people as the biblical Abraham and Sarah whose names are more familiar. Explain that, in the Book of Genesis, God instructs Abram and Sarai to change their names to Abraham and Sarah.
Tell or read aloud the story, "Abraham's Covenant with God."
Then, share, in your own words:
In these chapters in Genesis, God mentions making a covenant for the first time. Later chapters explain more of the terms of the covenant. Scholars differ on the historical accuracy of biblical descriptions of events. Whether it is strictly accurate or not, this story tells about the birth of Jewish faith.
If participants have done Workshop 4, Hinduism, ask the group whether the story of Abram and Sarai seems more, or less, fantastic than the Bhagavad Gita, in which Lord Krishna stops time to help Arjuna in his spiritual crisis. Point out that the two histories show God interacting with people in different ways.
Facilitate a discussion with questions such as:
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Last updated on Wednesday, October 29, 2014.
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