12 The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your land, your family, and your father’s household for the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation and will bless you. I will make your name respected, and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you, those who curse you I will curse; all the families of earth will be blessed because of you.”[a]
4 Abram left just as the Lord told him, and Lot went with him. Now Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran.
Go and be a blessing to all the families of the earth. That is the directive God gives Abram when God calls Abram to leave his homeland and move to a new place. This passage resonates with me for a variety of reasons, some are personal and some are church related. Over the course of my life I’ve moved a few times. Moving here to Michigan involved a major adjustment for me and for the family. We left behind family and friends and cultural expectations that we’d developed over the course of our lives. We moved to a new land and made a new life among a new people. But, as we’ve taken this journey, we’ve been blessed and we’ve been able to be a blessing to others.
As I read this passage, I’m also reminded of our own missional mandate as a congregation. We’re not just called to live inside the safe environment provided by the walls of our church building or our friendship circles. Instead we’re called to venture out into a world, that may react either positively or negatively, but then that seems to be part of the message here. God seems to assume that Abram will encounter both positive and negative reactions. The promise God makes, however, is that Abram isn’t going alone. God will take care of these things – Abrams job is to be a conduit of God’s blessing. With this as his calling, Abram takes up the challenge, and together with his nephew Lot, heads out toward this new land of opportunity, knowing that the blessings of God go with him.
As we venture through this Lenten season, may we not only receive the blessings of God, but allow those blessings to flow through us to all the peoples of the earth.
[Published in Central Woodward Christian Church Lenten Devotional]