Daily Office Readings for Thursday of the third Week of Advent 2020: Year 1
“Do not presume to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our ancestor”; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.” (Matthew 3:9)
This just goes to show us that God loves all humanity, regardless of ethnicity or so-called race. The Pharisees and Sadducees felt safe and protected in their supposed direct genetic link to Father Abraham. But God doesn’t care about that. God cares about Abraham’s faith, not his biology.
God is able to raise up loving and faithful servants from any population on earth. It really doesn’t matter about their genetic make-up. We are all one species. If you have read my blog for any length of time you will know that I don’t believe in race. Race is a human construct created to discriminate, mostly for the advantage of one group over another, primarily based on outward appearances and discriminating faith beliefs.
As Jews and Christians and Muslims, we are faith descendants of Abraham. Personally, I decided long ago, even long before becoming ordained, that I would first identify as an Anglican-Episcopalian. Being American, African-American, Free Mason, U.S. Marine, male, and heterosexual, would all be a distant second identifier for who I am. First and foremost, I am on the Episcopal path of the Jesus movement keeping in mind that my spiritual ancestor is Abraham regardless of who he was genetically. This realization really helps me know myself when I see myself through the Scriptures of the Bible.
All of this reminds me of an Easter Vigil prayer which really captures the spiritual heritage left to us from Father Abraham. It is found on page 289 of our Book of Common Prayer.
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.
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