by Tony Nester

The Call of Abraham
Tony Nester
Genesis 12:1-9

(Read Genesis 12:1-5a NRSV)

This past week a number of folks here at Trinity were involved in a church consultation led by Rev. Herbert Mather who directs the Center for Stewardship of The United Methodist Church located in Nashville, Tennessee. In one of our conversations with Herb he pointed out to us that contrary to what we often think, people really don't have a problem with change. They only have a problem with being changed. In other words, we can handle change when changing is our idea. We only have a problem changing our lives when the idea for change coming from someone else.

If that's true, and I think it is for the most part, then pity poor Abraham. God laid on Abram (his name is changed to Abraham in Genesis, Chapter 17) a divine call that changed everything in Abraham's life:

Now the LORD said to Abram, ''Go from your country'' - the land that Abraham knew as home territory; ''and your kindred'' - all of his relatives who had surrounded Abraham from his birth -'' and your father's house'' - his own immediate family which had formed Abraham's identity - ''to the land that I will show you'' - a journey to an unfamiliar and for him uncharted territory.

And none of this was Abraham's idea. Abraham was being changed. Changed by the call of God.

This is why the Bible lifts up Abraham as a model of a faith-filled person. Abraham's was willing to embark on a journey in which he would entrust himself completely to God.

What did Jesus ask people to do more than anything else? He said, ''Follow me! To follow is to go on a journey. Faith is a journey with Jesus. Our faith journey, like Abraham's faith journey, takes us into new and unfamiliar territory. The Apostle Paul sums up the Christian walk in 2 Corinthian 5:7: For we walk by faith, not by sight.

The hard part of faith journeys, wherever they may take us, is asking why it is we have to leave where we are and go somewhere else. Why did ...

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