Monday, June 20, 2011

The Beginning

We think of the beginning of the bible as the story of creation. We now know that the creation stories are not the oldest part of Genesis.
Today's first reading really takes us to the beginning of the story of the people of Israel, the call of Abram (not yet Abraham.)

75 years old the story tells us, a sign of dependence on God. Not by his own strength and prowess will he do what he does.

God calls his, tells him to leave his homeland, and does not tell him where he is going, he simply made a list of promises to him.

Abram trusted God's promised, packed up, and left. The German translation captures the Hebrew better than the English. (Da zog Abram weg)The English says merely he left. The German makes clear that this wasn't just leaving one home to move to another, this was leaving like a nomad to wander, with no clear sense of the destination. This was the first great leap of faith in the Judeo-Christian tradition.

No matter how many times I read this passage I am always left with the same question, do I trust God that much? Do I have that much faith?

Faith here is not assent to a list of beliefs. Faith here is an absolute trust, an absolute confidence that the promises made by God will be fulfilled. For us as Christians it's promises like
I am with you always until the end of the earth
the one who lives and believes in me will never die

Do I have the absolute confidence of Abram? Am I willing to follow Jesus even when I don't see the exact destination of a particular journey? Can I simply follow him today, and trust that he will be there to lead me tomorrow?