Daily Office Readings for Thursday of the 3rd Week of Epiphany: Year 1
AM Psalm 50; PM Psalm [59, 60] or 118;
Isaiah 49:13to23; Galatians 3:1to14; Mark 6:30to46
“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 and 7)
So Abraham is our spiritual ancestor. And, as I have said on many blogs, our ancestry is not genetically based. Abraham is our spiritual ancestor. We have heard it said that blood is thicker than water. But I say that spirit is thicker than even blood. While blood flows through veins and arteries, the Spirit of God “absorbs” us. We become immersed in the spirit.
God told Abram (before God re-named him Abraham), “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” (Genesis 12:2). This blessing is one of belief. Abraham is blessed and is a blessing to a multitude of nations.
As we believe in God, we behave differently. All people of faith are children to Abraham. Just as I shared yesterday about what John the Baptist told the Pharisees, “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). So too, we, you and I, are those stones. We are not of a certain blood type, save the blood of our Lord Jesus shared in His cup. We are the family of faith through believing. I will again close with one of my favorite prayers found on page 289 of the 1979 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.”
Also, today we remember St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Theologian 1274
“Thomas understood God’s disclosure of his Name, in Exodus 3:14, “I Am Who I Am,” to mean that God is Being, the Ultimate Reality from which everything else derives its being. The difference between God and the world is that God’s essence is to exist, whereas all other beings derive their being from him by the act of creation.” (Great Cloud of Witnesses for January 28)
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