Grace and peace to you, from God our Father, and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
“In the beginning…” That’s how the Book of Genesis begins. In the beginning, God created everything, including humans. But right from the beginning, God’s relationship with people didn’t seem to go so well. First Adam and Eve were rebellious, which ended in exile. Then when God saw the evil that people did, God sent a flood and again, started over with Noah and his family.
But again, people rebelled—trying to build a tower to heaven so they could be like God. Our reading this morning comes from Genesis. It is the story of God calling Abraham or Abram to be the father of a new people. It seems that God now wants to work with one family rather than all of humanity, choosing Abram to be the father of a holy people.
When we think of Abram, or Abraham, we see a man who uprooted his family because God spoke to him. In today’s reading, Abraham hears God telling him to get up and go to a land that God will give him and his descendants. I wonder how the conversation with Sarah went when Abraham told her what God had said! They had just settled down in Haran, and now Abraham wants to uproot and go to another foreign country. But Abraham trusted God’s promise, so he packed up his family, his livestock, and all his servants to travel to Canaan, because God had made a promise to him and his descendants, “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great.”
Just imagine leaving everything you have ever known to travel to a place, you have never seen. But Abraham trusted God. And God promised Abraham that his descendants would become a great nation people of God who would be blessed by God. But that’s not all God said. “I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse, and in you all the families of the Earth shall be blessed.” This promise God made to Abraham is still with us today.
We, as followers of Jesus, are all descendants of Abraham, and we too have been blessed by God through Jesus’s life, death, and Resurrection. And we need to remember that we are to be a blessing to others. Jesus once said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ “