Friday: March 2                                                

Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16

            When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.” 

            Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.

             I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.

            God said to Abraham, “As for Sarah your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.”

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            Lent is a good time to remember that we are a covenant people—in covenant with the God who made covenant with Abraham, with Moses, with Israel, with David, with Jesus Christ, with the church.  It is a good time to remember the words of institution of our covenant meal:  “This is the new covenant in my blood.”  It is a good time to live in agreement with our covenantal God and to remember the goal of this narrative history of God and God’s people, this narrative history of covenants.

            Namely, this Lent may we enlarge our vision of the purposes of God’s particular covenants…and thus expand our hearts of love.  God moves from the particular to the universal, from the one to the many.  To engage in God’s mission is to engage in this movement.  Simply put, it goes like this:

            The covenant with Abraham (particular) is to bless all the families of the earth (universal).  The covenant with Israel (particular) is to be a light to the nations (universal).      The new covenant “in the blood” of the one man Jesus (particular) is a death for all people (universal).          The church (particular) of the new covenant is for “going into all the world” to the ends of the earth (universal).  God calls us and makes covenant with us not simply to “bless us” but that through us there might be God’s blessing on all people—the whole world which is the object of God’s love (John 3:16).

May your world be blessed, O God, in us.

Rev. Dr. Victor Hunter

First Christian Church, New Martinsville

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