Lent 2: Genesis 17:1-7; 15-16; Romans 4:13-25; Mark 8:31-28
This week’s reading from Genesis gives us one of the fundamental acts of salvation: God’s covenant with Abram and Sarai. The reading from Romans reflects on this and tells us that Abram and Sarai became part of the covenant through faith.
A Lenten theme this year is the glory of God and although the word isn’t used in these readings, this covenant is an illustration of true glory. The all-powerful God chooses to walk with Abram, chooses to make a covenant. This is like a parent choosing to make an agreement with a small child. Though the parent is powerful, the challenge is to express that power through love, so that the child can more fully grow and express their gifts. The encounter of with God’s covenant changes Abram and Sarai; the text notes they become Abraham and Sarah, and the names are a way of seeing they are new people.
In the same way, the reading from Mark shows us Jesus teaching his disciples that the Messiah, the Christ, expresses God’s presence through sacrificial love, not the power Peter and the others had expected. Life is given by releasing life, not by taking it. The glory of God is most present in the sacrificial love that leads us to live in God’s Kingdom more than in the fireworks we expected.
- How would you describe your faith? Has your faith been tested recently? Have you seen it grow?
- Abraham and Sarah were called to begin something new. Has God ever asked you to start something? How did it feel? How did God show up? Is God asking you to a new adventure?
- God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah included the fact that all nations would be blessed by them. How has God blessed other people through you and your gifts?