Father Abraham

Our “epic story” seems to be struggling. Our hero, God, has created beings that just seem to keep getting themselves into trouble. Our villain, Satan, has created a communication problem between humans and God: sin. Flood and languages have been imposed to slow the downward spiral. Humans do not seem to be able to help themselves. At this point God does the unexpected. He reaches into his creation and develops relationship with a man who married his half sister: Abram and Sarai. Not a very likely couple. God is wanting to bless the people he created and he is willing to strategize. He has a plan. This is an epic story about us.

Why? John 3:16 tells us that God so loved… God loved his creatures. How many parents look at their child born with Down’s syndrome and choose to love that child that is differently enabled. I remember the nurse looking at my baby and saying, “Well, that one will never be beautiful.” But that baby was mine and I loved him. “Mona Lisa” smiles is about an art teacher at Wellesley College, who shows a painting of a cow to her class and asks if they think it was good art. The debate starts among the girls and then she reveals it is a painting she did at age 6 for her mother and her mother, of course, loved it. God so loved the world.

Why Abram, though, who became Abraham and Sarai who became Sarah? Perhaps taking someone who seems so unlikely presents an epic challenge for an epic hero, kind of like Hildago racing his mustang across the Arab desert. We love these stories of people overcoming despite themselves to reach a goal that is bigger than themselves. God chooses Abram, Genesis 12: 2,3.

“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you;

I will make your name great and you will be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you,

and whoever curses you I will curse,

and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

This is called the Abrahamic covenant. God, our hero has set his will and his heart. He has a plan for Abram and for you.

         Abram is not perfect. After talking with the God of the universe, he gets scared by famine and takes his people to Egypt and asks Sarai to say she is his sister. He is called “the father of the faith” and even he had his moments. There is hope for us.

         God initiates. God loves. God has a plan to bless you and me. How do we think about that blessing? Are we looking for finances? Fame? Adventure? I suspect many of those things come and go with time. Relationship and love are important. Abram was willing to be in relationship with God, to listen and to obey. May you be growing in your relationship with God as we work through this epic story.

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