Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. Genesis 12:1-2
It is true that, because of modern marvels in technology and transportation our world is becoming a smaller place. People pick up and go here and there, move from one place to another and sometimes settle in foreign lands all for the sake of getting ahead. Yet, there are places where many families have put down roots and stayed in the land of their ancestors. Either way, as part of a mobile society or not it is difficult to imagine God’s call to Abram, telling him to leave the land of his ancestors and travel to an unknown destination where he will live the rest of his life.
When God spoke to Abram, he heard and believed. Abram followed, without question, the God who promised to make him the father of a great nation. He heard, believed and obeyed God’s command. There is no indication that Abram understood why God called him to such action. Questions he could have asked might be “Why God, why must I leave my home?” What purpose for my life is there that I must leave everything behind?” But Abram acted in faith, obeyed God and followed Him to the place where God would have him go.
Establishing His covenant with Abram, God gave him a new name; Abraham, meaning Father of Many Nations. Through Abraham God would work His purposes of redemption for our fallen humanity. God promised Abraham that throughout the generations, his descendants would be blessed and a blessing for many. And through this lineage would come the One who would be Messiah for God’s people, Christ the Lord.
Christians throughout the world, grafted through Holy Baptism into this covenant between God and Abraham, are also called to leave behind their old way of life in order to obey and follow. Because we are saved by the blood of the One whom God raised up through the family of Abraham, we too are blessed and called to be a blessing for others. Christians have the gift of the gospel of Christ to share with a world fallen and separated from God. God’s purpose for Abraham was the founding of a great nation from which the Messiah would come and save His people. God’s purpose for those saved by his grace is to follow and obey, sharing this good news of salvation through Christ the Lord. As we continue this Advent journey, we proclaim the truth of God’s grace and invite others to sing with us; “Amen, Come Lord Jesus!”
Holy God, you come to us at this time of Advent calling us to obey and follow where you would have us go. Give us faith that we may do your will and share the good news of salvation through the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.