Today we are at the beginning of the story of Abraham. So much at the beginning that he is still know as Abram and his wife as Sarai. Abram is not called Abraham until the first part of chapter 17 and the whole story of Abraham doesn’t finish until his death at the beginning of chapter 25. So, some 13 chapters are taken to tell Abram/ham’s story, quite a substantial length.
Our reading tells us of the call of Abram. God calls him, and his family, from their home country to a land that God will show him. God promises that Abram’s name will become great, that God will make him a great nation that will be a blessing that will flow to all the families of the earth. In the chapters leading up to the story of Abram God has been trying to redeem the world after the various bad choices God’s people had made. Our story of Noah from last week is one such attempt. God now chooses a new avenue that takes the form of an individual, namely Abram.
Some of you have been challenged to leave the place you once called home, whether it is in another suburb, state or country, to travel here to this place. For some it has been easy, for others it’s been hard. Usually when we make those sorts of moves we know where we are heading to, not so with Abram, “Go …to the land that I will show you” says God. Here is trust in God, here is obedience of God. As Abram is given that task to go and in that going to bring the blessing of God with him. It could be said that Abram will help bring God’s Shalom back to the world.
I can’t help but think of those who come to Australia seeking a better place, a place of refuge, a place to join family that is already here. There moves may not be a call from God, but then who are we to restrict and contain how God calls people? How do we bring God’s Shalom to those around us? How can we continue the call of Abram by being a blessing? Is that what the Kingdom of God looks like, us being a blessing to the world?
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