Sarah and Hope

Verlyn Verbrugge

READ : Genesis 18:1-15; 21:1-7

Now Sarah said, “God has brought laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.” (21:6 NRSV)

Hope drives the human soul. “I hope I find a decent job.” “I hope I get married
someday.” But unfulfilled hopes depress the human soul. And Sarah lost hope that she would
ever be a mother.

Sarah’s life hadn’t been easy. In order for the promises spoken to Abraham to be
fulfilled, she had to leave her family and everything familiar behind. She had been
promised a family and all she had received were the signs of old age. Wouldn’t you laugh
if someone told you that at age 90, you would give birth to your firstborn (Gen.
18:12-15)? What’s more, her husband Abraham, at 100, was as good as dead himself (Rom. 4:19).

But God always fulfills his promises, even when the odds against us are laughable. And
when Isaac (whose name means “laughter”) was born, Sarah laughed: at herself, at Isaac, at
the absurd way God can work. God had performed a miracle; he had raised her dead womb to

Centuries later, on a dark Friday, Jesus’ disciples lost hope that he was the Messiah
(Luke 24:21). But God raised him from the dead on Easter Sunday, and his followers laughed
with “great joy” (Matt. 28:8). That’s what the Christian faith is all about: a God who
works in hopeless situations in such amazing ways that our only response is to laugh with


Lord God of Abraham and Sarah, thank you for giving me life and hope through

the resurrection of Jesus. Amen.