Abraham Meets Melchizedek — Basilica di San Marco

Deal Gently

A Sermon, Hebrews 5:5–10, John 12:20–33

Tripp Hudgins
5 min readMar 19, 2021


I cannot recall a time when I was this tired. It’s been a year since we started experiencing COVID restrictions in the US. A year of some of us isolating and wearing masks while others of us denied there was a pandemic at all. A year of political strife that the US has not seen in decades or perhaps longer. And that’s just the background noise. We’ve seen the continued killings of black citizens by an increasingly militarized police force. Children are still in cages on our border with Mexico. Violence in the form of hate crimes against Asian Americans is on the rise…including a recent shooting in Atlanta, GA, leaving several dead because one young white man was “having a bad day.” And let’s not forget climate change. The list seems never-ending.

COVIDtide has me down, y’all.

It has me in a relentless blue funk. Do you all know of the Blue Funk in the UK? It’s that impenetrable morass of gloomy ennui mingled with a deep despair. Blue. Funk.

I’m in a deep blue funk and I want to get out. I need COVIDtide to end.

So, when I was given the scripture passages for our service, I immediately went looking for relief to malaise. And I found it. I found it in the person of Melchizedek, the King of Salem, and his strange story.

The story goes something like this…

Abram (before he was known as Abraham) had received the news that his nephew, Lot, was a prisoner of war. So, Abram gathered his own men and went to find the people responsible and free Lot; three hundred and eighteen trained men, the scriptures tell us. Waging his battle in the night, he freed Lot, pursued the enemy to Hobah, which was north of Damascus. He returned home with the grateful Lot in tow. Then things got weird.

Seemingly out of nowhere, King Melchizedek of Salem (and priest to the God Most High) showed up to Abram’s camp with bread and wine. He blessed Abram. Abram then gave King Melchizedek a tenth of everything. We don’t hear from Melchizedek again. He shows up. He blesses. He receives a tithe. He goes away. (Genesis 14)

That’s not entirely true. He shows up again in Psalm 110.



Tripp Hudgins

he/him/all y'all — author, scholar, musician, and minister