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Sunday, March 3

Romans 4: 1-12

 And 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 to us.
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.
Yet 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 

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