Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Today’s first reading begins with a covenant - a covenant made with Abram. This covenant, in which God fulfills Abram’s deepest desires - for a family, a legacy, a whole nation that he will father - a nation that will praise the Lord - plays a central role in our salvation history.
As is the case with most covenants, this agreement that Abram enters into with the Lord is so wholly consuming that it requires him to change his entire being, even his name. He now emerges from this agreement as Abraham - a man changed forever by his commitment to the Lord.
God, being God, is ever faithful and remembers the covenant he has made. And so often I think we end the story here - both for Abraham and for ourselves. We focus on God’s faithfulness to his covenant with us and we trust that because God has promised us this, it will be so.
BUT, when we continue to read to the end of this passage we read these words:
God also said to Abraham:
"On your part, you and your descendants after you
must keep my covenant throughout the ages."
We must keep our part of this covenant. And what is our role in this covenant? How do we keep this covenant? We keep God as our God. We remember that God is truly God. In our day to day lives that becomes challenging. If God is our God, it means that our families are not our God, our phones are not our god, the praise of others is not our god, money is not our god. To be faithful to the covenant God has made we must remember that God is God.
This Lent I have been trying to look at my life and see what areas I need to let God be God more fully - areas where I need to stop trying to control every piece of the puzzle - areas where I need to make space for God. It could be in my finances, my parenting, my relationship with my spouse, my use of time. This doesn’t mean I walk away and say “fine, I’m not responsible for anything that happens - it’s on you God!” But rather that when I am approaching these areas of my life, I take them to prayer. And when I pray about them, I try to see how I can be using these facets of my life to bring about God’s kingdom, to work for justice and to continue to keep this covenant.
- Amanda Grimm