Second Sunday of Lent: The Old Testament Passage – Going out with God

Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 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. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” So Abram went, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him.” (Genesis 12:1-4a)

Almost twelve years (this summer) ago we moved to Eugene. Not because the Lord called us to the west coast (at least not directly) but because a good job beckoned. But we did leave family behind as we journeyed west. That was hard. We did not expect to become “a great nation”; not sure I would have wanted that anyway. But what I did hope is that we would become a blessing to those we met and befriended. And I think that we have done.

As we enter this second week of Lent, I have to think about Jesus’ life and ministry. Jesus was called from his family, called to call disciples, and to spend the next years spreading the gospel. We read in the gospels that Jesus’ family did not always understand what Jesus was doing, and why. Some of the gospel writers almost make is seem like his family was against him, and he had isolated himself from his family.

And for Jesus, this verse did come true, in the fullest. Jesus was the beginning of a “great nation” – a Christian nation. And his name was made great, and became a blessing. Those who believe in Jesus are blessed; and those who curse Jesus will find themselves outside of God’s consideration.

Jesus and our Lord God call us out; maybe not to a different land or a different state. But we are called. And so we duly go forth, hoping for the best; but ready for the worst, secure in the knowledge that God is with us each step of the way. Selah!