Sunday, March 3
Romans 4: 1-12
he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he
had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the
father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that
righteousness might be credited to them. And he is then also the father
of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in
the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was
circumcised. Romans 3:11-12 [NIV]
Footsteps of Abraham
Lent invites reflection on journey. We
start on Ash Wednesday and move to the cross and Good Friday to Easter
morning and Resurrection. And we have the benefit of knowing the way
ahead of time. We know that our Lenten journey ends with Easter--many of
us have walked and re-walked this story year after year. It’s familiar
But what if you were Abraham? God also sent Abraham on a
journey, though in a different time and place. God called him from Ur to
the desert. God promised him a new, but unfamiliar home. God promised
him children with a barren wife.
And Abraham went. Perhaps he felt
uncertain; he certainly would experience the unfamiliar. He packed up
and moved out, learning how to cope on the go, finding himself in new
places, forging and foraging his way.
Maybe you walk with Abraham.
Maybe God also called you, and you find yourself in a new place or an
unfamiliar situation. Where are the familiar landmarks of home? Where is
the rest and certainty in life with God? Maybe you feel like God’s
promises to you are not and cannot be fulfilled. Where is the peace of
God in fractured families? Or the consolation of God in a diagnosis of
cancer? Or the love of God in depression or anxiety? Or the faithfulness
of God in loss?
We may know the story from Ash
Wednesday to Easter morning, but still we walk with Abraham. We also
move into new situations and unfamiliar places as we follow God. We face
new dimensions of grief and pain, joy and hope each day. We don’t know
where we are, and, sometimes, we don’t know where God is.
Abraham’s story does not only involve confusion and uncertainty. Abraham
believed God. Abraham kept believing God called and God promised.
Abraham kept walking. He kept walking and believing even before his
circumcision, before he was marked to remind him of God’s faithfulness
and promise. He kept walking and believing after circumcision, in the
interim between the giving of the promise and the fulfillment of the
promise. He kept walking and believing.
Let's follow Abraham’s footsteps as we move to Easter morning.
Seminary Deacon Amy Whisenand