In worship this summer, we have followed the path of the patriarchs of the Jewish and Christian faiths. The Hebrew Scriptures — or Old Testament, as Christians have called it for generations — routinely talk about the God we worship as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. These three patriarchs are the first people God used to bring about God’s purposes on earth. But what was that purpose? If we look back to the beginning of the story of Abraham, we find that God blessed Abraham to bless all the peoples......