Advent Day Two: The Covenant

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 you into a great nation, and I will bless 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.”(Genesis 12:1-3)

Trusting God is an act of faith.  Believing that he loves you and has a purpose for your life is often lost in the anxiety and disappointment of daily living.  In those moments, it’s good to reflect on words of encouragement you received in the past.  Though your path may deviate from your original goal, people of faith know that God can transform even our worse mistakes into opportunities for grace.

God called Abram as a young man out of Ur of the Chaldees.  Along the way he married Sarai, cared for his herds, and became a wealthy man.  But God wanted to establish a covenant with Abram that would ultimately prepare the way for Jesus.  It seemed implausible that a childless man would become the father of many nations, or a wandering nomad could establish a permanent home, but the promise was guaranteed.

Needing to help God along, he fathered Ishmael through a surrogate, and lied about his wife so he could live in Egypt during a time of famine.  Where was God in all these missteps?  Waiting for Abram to trust him.

In his time, God gave Abraham and Sarah one son—Isaac.  From him came Esau and Jacob, and through Jacob, the twelve tribes of Israel.  The king of Egypt released Sarai and sent them back to Canaan.  There they remained until the time of Joseph, when God preserved his people for four hundred years in Egypt.

Through Abraham’s seed, Jesus Christ was born many centuries later.  God takes the long view.  Where does he want to take you?

“Oh Lord, we forget that you have a purpose for our lives in the midst of daily living.  We confess that we often fall short of your plan.  Realign our priorities and set right our missteps during Advent so that we can receive your blessings.”  Amen

Mindi Oaten’s painting “The Shepherd Who Reigns” is from God’s Garden of Grace collection. The flowers are Star of Bethlehem.

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Paul was a preacher and teacher until he retired in 2015. He continues to write and listen to what God is saying to him in the ordinary and extraordinary things of life. Elaine was a public school teacher and administrator until she retired in 2018. She is using her retirement to reflect on God's work in her life and to share insights with her family and friends.

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