The invitation to Abram to uproot his life—a life he knew, a life he had built, a life that had security guaranteed, a life surrounded by his things, his people, his culture—is the beginning of a journey of thousands of years of all people to the new Jerusalem unveiled for us in the book of Revelation.
Abram had to make a decision. Do I abandon my fatherland for this land that the Lord is promising to me? Do I abandon my family and my people in favor of a people, a nation, that the Lord is revealing, when I know that logically this doesn’t make sense given Sarai’s infertility? Do I set aside my inheritance, for the inheritance that the Lord is laying out for me? If this were all to work out as the Lord says, I will gain much, but the cost will be great, the risk, the uncertainty. Do I have the trust in this God that will see me through to the end? Abram, we read eventually, left for this land.
In Hebrews we read, “It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going… And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. …Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God” (Heb 11:8-10).
Today’s Scripture passage prompts us to a decision, “for our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil 3:20). We need to decide whether to abandon our plans, our security, the stuff we collect and the people we gather around ourselves, and ultimately our earthly “blessings,” for an eternal inheritance promised us though unseen. To exchange our ultimate loyalty to our earthly citizenship to confess our forever credo in the providential love of God who has called us to take on the attitudes, values, thoughts, beliefs, and actions of the Kingdom that is even now growing to maturity in a hidden way on this earth. When the Son of Man returns on the clouds to gather his own into the Kingdom of his Father, to present them as his brothers and sisters, members of his Body, we want to be among that number.
Abram is our father in faith, yet he stumbled and doubted and failed along the way until he completely trusted this God who had chosen him to be the father of a great nation. You and I are a part of this great nation. We struggle and stumble, doubt and fall along the way. Nevertheless, with courage, we keep our eyes fixed on what “eye has not seen, ear has not heard” (1 Cor 2:9).
In the words of Philip Krill, in his book Deified Vision: Toward an Angogical Catholicism, our faith journey “is an anticipated participation in the yet-to-be-fully manifest glory of the Coming Kingdom. ‘Behold, I make all things new!’ exclaims the Savior (Rev 21:5). We eagerly anticipate ‘new heavens and a new earth’ (Is 65:17-25; Rev 21). We expect to see an entirely recreated, transfigured creation: a world so transformed and renewed that every particle of matter…will participate providentially in what God has in store for those who love him (Rom 8:28; 1 Cor 2:9). …. [S]o magnificent and all-inclusive and redemptive is the final consummation of his glory.”
Kathryn James Hermes, FSP, is the author of the newly released title: Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments, by Pauline Books and Media. An author and spiritual mentor, she offers spiritual accompaniment for the contemporary Christian’s journey towards spiritual growth and inner healing. She is the director of My Sisters, where people can find spiritual accompaniment from the Daughters of St. Paul on their journey. Website: www.touchingthesunrise.com Public Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/srkathrynhermes/ For monthly spiritual journaling guides, weekly podcasts and over 50 conferences and retreat programs join my Patreon community: https://www.patreon.com/srkathryn.
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