Prayer: Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that you hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Reading: Genesis 12 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: There must be something missing here, don’t you think? Jen (let’s say she is the author of the Book of Genesis) tells us that God called out to Abram and Sarai, “I want you to leave home and the family, job, friends, and everything familiar. I’ll show you where to go.” I don’t know about you, but my first response would be, “Okay, but where’s the map?” A GPS would have been even better. “No map, I’ll be your GPS.” Gulp! See, I think Jen missed all of that because the next thing she reports is “So (they) went.”
Well, that’s not quite right. Jen does record God’s promises- great nation, great name, blessings, and curses. Hmmm… this is curious, don’t you think? I’d still prefer at least a map. Anyhow, after hearing the promises, they went! They took some close family members and all their possessions, (can you see a U-Haul in the sand?) And they came to Canaan and saw the place God wanted them to be, but not yet. Jen spins a pretty good story here. There’s this famine in Canaan, so detour to Egypt. Some fibbing to Pharaoh gets Abe and Sarai in trouble. But it does bring about the first, “Pharaoh, Pharaoh, let my people go, UH.” The rest is history!
So, what do you think? Did Jen purposely omit Abram and Sarai questioning God about this trip they are to take? Did she just conveniently overlook the time and prayers it took for them to discern whether they were really hearing God’s voice? Or maybe she knew the story was going to be pretty long and this would be a good place to condense things.
Or, maybe Jen nailed it right on the head. God calls, we respond in faith and trust that God knows what She is doing. Has He ever let you down? How is God guiding you in your faith journey? And, what is next? You have a mental map, I bet, and detours can really be bummers. Are they a way of God letting you know where God wants you? What do you think? Can you let Go, let God? That’s not a bad thing to get out of this story. I like the way Jen framed it after all. How about you? --Jim Bricker
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