A reflection by Christina Brennan Lee for March 5, 2023.
For the Sunday and also the Daily Lectionary (appointed readings), we are given an Old Testament passage, a Psalm, an Epistle (a New Testament Letter which can be left out), and, of course, a reading from the Gospel.
They are generally arranged with a common theme although occasionally that theme can be fairly obscure. The sermon or homily (there are slight differences between the two) usually focuses on the appointed Gospel. Sometimes, in reading and later listening, I’m intrigued by one of the other Lessons.
This is especially true for me with the story of God calling Abram to “simply” pack up, move away from his country and his extended family, and start over with the promise of an amazing future. A true example of just do it!
In my mind, bringing it forward to our own times, minus the Internet and GPS, God’s call to Abram goes something like this:
The phone rings. It’s your boss. You are to pack up the spouse, leave the house, other family and friends behind, and move to a new country, for a new job. You’ll be in charge of everything including recruitment. There’s no time for questions. You’ll get all the info you need when you get there and you must be there by Tuesday. Click… Your head spins. Not only do you not know how to get there, but you also don’t know the language, the weather, where to live, or who to contact. Do you a) just do it because it’s the boss and your trust in her is complete and it will work out somehow. Or, b) ask your spouse, who says what you are thinking “…Is she crazy, just hangs up, no more info, what does she expect that we’ll just drop everything because she says so?” Then pick up the phone and call three people, “Can you believe this? There’s no way I can do this, until I get more details.”
Abram, later to be Abraham, packs up and goes, we’re told on Faith alone. Paul tells us it was Abram’s faith, and our own, through which the Promise of God is fulfilled. Further proof, God gives us Jesus ~ coming to preach, teach, and show us The Way; and, what real sacrifice is.
Can I go to the Country of God without all the moans and groans about the inconveniences, lack of clear information, and gripes about the cost of Faith? I do have the option of staying in my limited faith experience where I am now but at what eventual cost? If you are anxious about that kind of stepping out in faith, too, well, at least we have each other. Let’s go together…I’m sure there’s help in the hills (see Psalm 121).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Every week, Christina Brennan Lee writes the Prayers of the People we use in our worship services on Sundays. She also leads weekday prayer services and serves on the SsAM Vestry. Click here to see her People’s Prayers website.