My faith community is starting on our Adavent journey. We are in transsition from our daily routines, looking forward together to Jesus’ birthday. What lessons will we learn at each stage of our journey?
In Genesis 12: 1-9, God asked Abraham to go to another country away from his home to a place He would show him. What does Abraham do? He packs up all his “stuff” and all his “people” and starts on the journey. He is in transition.
Verse nine of Genesis chapter 12 says that Abraham journeyed by stages towards his destination. It’s in these stages that he learned how to be who God called him to be, a blessing to those “others” not like himself. The goal was not to go and pitch a tent in between two places as Abraham did in verse eight, but to be totally committed to the transition and God’s request.
I vividly remember preparing to leave Beirut as a high school senior, packing up my big black steamer trunk with the brass clasps, filling it with accumulalted tokens of a childhood lived in my home, Lebanon. I was headed to Baylor University with no clue as to what I would need in that new country. I had seen other missionary kids chasing after memories, stuck between worlds without a footing in either one. I didn’t want to be like that, a sick child longing for a home that no longer existed for me. I knew that once I left home, that was it! I learned at a young age that the key to transition is being in the present stage, obedience in the moment.
My mom has graciously shown me by example how to live in obedient transition. At age 98, she moved yet again to a new home. During this move, one of her granddaughters asked her, “Granny, if there is one thing we can tell our children, what would it be?”
My mom didn’t hesitate and said, “I will do the best I can, with what I have, where I am, for Jesus’ sake today.”
Am I guilty of waiting to arrive in a hoped for future instead of obedience to God’s call to love in the moment?
The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you”……So Abram went, as the Lord had told him…..From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord. Then Abram set out and continued …..