Pondering for Thursday, January 26, 2023

Daily Office Readings for Thursday of the 3rd Week of Epiphany: Year 1

Morning, Psalm 50; Evening, Psalm 118;
Isaiah 49:13to23Galatians 3:1to14Mark 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 in 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.”

Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for Ukraine.

As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love and serve, and to teach others to love and serve, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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