The sun was high and hot in the clear sky, and the ground was baked as hard as a clay brick. Abraham sat in the doorway of his tent, praying for a breeze. He wiped the sweat out of his eyes with his fingers and took a deep breath. He saw three men standing nearby. His spirit told him there was something special about these men. He ran to greet them. Then he bowed and spoke to the man who appeared to be the leader of the three.
“Sir, … please do not go on past your servant. Let some water be brought, that you may bathe your feet, and then rest yourselves under the tree. … Let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves.”
The three men looked at each other and nodded, then the leader of them said, “Very well. Do as you have said.”
Abraham scurried back into his tent. “Sarah … Knead (the fine flour) and make rolls.” Then he went out and told one of his servants to prepare one of the best steers for fresh meat. When the meat and rolls were ready, Abraham brought them with milk for his guests. He sat with them under the tree while they ate.
One of the men asked, “Where is your wife, Sarah?”
Abraham pointed. “There in the tent.” Sarah was standing in the entrance of the tent.
The leader of the men said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah will then have a son.” Sarah and Abraham did not have any children and now they were both very old. Sarah laughed to herself when she heard what the man had said.
Then the man, who was the Lord, said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? … Is anything too marvelous for the Lord to do? At the appointed time, about this time next year, I will return to you, and Sarah will have a son.”
When Sarah realized who the man was, she was very afraid, so she said, “I didn’t laugh.”
The Lord looked into her eyes and said, “Yes, you did.”
But the Lord kept his promise. Even as old as they were, Abraham and Sarah became parents. A son was born, and they called him Isaac, which means “laughter.” Then Sarah said, “God has given me cause to laugh, and all who hear of it will laugh with me.” Abraham celebrated with a feast for all of his friends and family.
READ MORE ABOUT IT:
Genesis 18 and 21
1. Who was the leader of Abraham’s three visitors?
2. What did Sarah do when the man said she would have a child?
In our modern homes, we have many advantages we take for granted, such as running water, central heating, electricity, even glass windows.
The people of Abraham’s time lived very meagerly in comparison. One of the most common types of home then was the tent, typically made out of stretched goat skins that were secured to the ground by stakes and ropes. The outer shell of the tent could be folded up to allow air to flow through the inside, and flaps were made to divide the interior into separate rooms. The people moved whenever it was necessary to find food and water for themselves and their livestock, so tents were very useful homes because they were easily taken down and reconstructed.
Stone and brick became very popular building materials for homes as the Israelites established villages where they lived much closer together.
Vulmar, who was born in France, has been called “a man of wonderful holiness.” His chores at the abbey he belonged to were feeding the cows and chopping wood. Because of the spirit of prayer and servitude he demonstrated, he was promoted to the priesthood. After a leave of absence of several years from the abbey to spend time as a hermit, Vulmar established an abbey in the village of Calais. Later in his life he established a second monastery.
Many miracles are attributed to Vulmar, and his relics are held in the abbey of St. Peter in Ghent. He died around the year 700, and we remember him on July 20.