Daily Office Readings for Thursday of Proper 4: Year 2
“Just as Abraham ‘believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness’, so, you see, those who believe are the descendants of Abraham.” (Galatians 3:6 – 7)
Above all identifiers of who I am, I consider myself first and foremost a believing descendant of Abraham. Biologically, Abraham (son of Terah of Ur: Genesis 11: 26 – 32) was from what we now call Iraq. I claim no genetic relationship to him in that way. My faith-based believing relationship is more important to me than being African American or any other descriptor of human identification. What I claim is a spiritual and believing relationship to Abraham in the Holy Spirit of God. We underestimate the power of faith and in particular the power of believing.
Believing is everything to me. This doesn’t mean that I never drift off course. I do sadly. But even in my waywardness I believe. It’s funny how different Bible verses over the years take on more importance as one grows stronger in the faith. I am going through some sadness now regarding the Coronavirus and the racial unrest in America. So what stands out for me now is John 14:1, “Do not let your hearts be troubled, believe in God, believe also in me.” These are comforting words. Abraham too had stressful days but he always believed in God. Paul’s letter to the Galatians reminds us, the believing descendants of Abraham, of our important heritage.
Let us pray. O God, whose wonderful deeds of old shine forth even to our own day, you once delivered by the power of your mighty arm your chosen people from slavery under Pharaoh, to be a sign for us of the salvation of all nations by the water of Baptism: Grant that all the peoples of the earth may be numbered among the offspring of Abraham, and rejoice in the inheritance of Israel; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP p. 289)
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John