Genesis 15:1-6, 12-18
“And Abram said, ‘You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house shall be my heir.’ But the word of the Lord came to him, ‘This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.’” (Genesis 15:3-4; NRSV)
Abram was a senior citizen when God told him to leave his country and his kin and go to country he had never been to before where God would make of him “a great nation.” (Genesis 12:1-2) Big problem: Abram was married to another senior citizen named Sarai, who had never been able to have children. Nevertheless, Abram trusted God and set out. After many adventures over many years, Sarai had still not conceived, and Abraham looked for a way he could help God fulfill his promise. He decided that a slave born in his household would qualify as an heir. But God rejected Abram’s plan, and reaffirmed His promise. Sarah eventually bore a child, Isaac, and Abram, now Abraham, became the biological ancestor of the nation of Israel, and the spiritual ancestor of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Sometimes we think we have God’s plans for us figured out and make plans to help Him. God laughs!
God of surprise and adventure, in this Lenten season, give us whatever it takes to discern where you call us to go and what you call us to do. Give us the trust we need to follow You, and the humility to be suspicious of our own plans while doing so. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
–Fr. Larry Parrish, St. Thomas Episcopal Church