Scripture Reading: Genesis 12:1-4a
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. 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. 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.’
So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.
Have you ever noticed that God’s answer to “What’s in it for me?” is always a positive outcome for someone else? God likes people to dream big dreams, to become fully the persons they were created to be but always in a cascade of love that results in others dreaming big dreams and becoming fully actualized. “Yes, Abram there is a vast world out there ready for you to explore and people will remember your name for ever because you will be a blessing to them.” With God, any of us can substitute our name in that sentence for Abram’s name as God calls all of us to be blessings to others.
Whose names do we remember as ones who blessed us? Mrs. George, the minister’s wife of the first church I attended as a child, enriched my life greatly with her soft southern accent, telling the story of Jesus on a flannel board carefully placing each new character creating a picture as she gently smoothed them into place. Dr. Keller, the minister of my second church, was a history professor as well as a pastor serving my tiny rural church as a part time job and a full time calling. He fed my already budding interest in history. Gave me a copy of the Declaration of Independence the Sunday after I asked him, “Do you know where they signed the Declaration of Independence?” He said, “I believe it was in Philadelphia.” To which I replied, “It was at the bottom of the page.” I still have that document and I still love history.
Jesus, the human essence of God, took time to reboot according to the gospels. After each of these refreshing moments spent communing with God alone on the mountainside or in the home of beloved friends when he withdrew to Bethany, he returned to his tasks of blessing us all. Lent offers an extended time for us to reboot, clearing all the clutter from our hearts and minds opening new space to store more love in our souls so that we can go forth and be blessings to others. Let it be so.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for all those who have blessed us from Abram to Jesus to the everyday people whose paths crossed our lives. In honoring them and you, make us blessing to others too. Amen.
All scriptures are quoted from the new Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.