12 The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your land, your family, and your father’s household for the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation and will bless you. I will make your name respected, and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
those who curse you I will curse;
all the families of the earth
will be blessed because of you.”[a]
4 Abram left just as the Lord told him, and Lot went with him. Now Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran. 5 Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all of their possessions, and those who became members of their household in Haran; and they set out for the land of Canaan. When they arrived in Canaan, 6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the sacred place at Shechem, at the oak of Moreh. The Canaanites lived in the land at that time. 7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I give this land to your descendants,” so Abram built an altar there to the Lord who appeared to him. 8 From there he traveled toward the mountains east of Bethel, and pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and worshipped in the Lord’s name. 9 Then Abram set out toward the arid southern plain, making and breaking camp as he went. (Genesis 12:1-9, Common English Bible).
We Methodist preacher move. We move a lot. We don’t, however, move as much as many lay people believe. But, when we are called on to move, this passage from Genesis is one we often look to in that stressful time. I have used this passage more than once on my first Sunday in a new church. I have also used it a time or two on my last Sunday in a church. Yeah, I do like this text.
When I think about this text I usually think about how hot it is when we are trying to move around July 4th. I think I have even asked myself, “could there be anything worse than moving in southeast and east Texas in July? Well, yeah, there can be. Moving in mid-August in southeast and east Texas. Well, in truth, it could be worse in many other places than it is in southeast and east Texas.
It also could be worse when I am 75 than it is today. In the lesson, we have Abram, 75 year old, Abram, loading up his wife and all he has in the world, travels across the desert by pack animal to move to a new land God would show him.
To my way of thinking, that takes a lot of faith. There are those in my family who say it takes a lot of faith to move the way we Methodist preachers move. We go into a new town, often unknown. We go to a new church filled with people we have never met. Still, we aren’t invading a new land. Things were much more difficult for the man who would remain faithful to God and faithful to God’s call.
I would like to think the same applies to we preachers but we probably aren’t Abram kind of faithful. What is more, living faithfully doesn’t just apply to preachers. It applies to all of us. After all, aren’t we all, “On the Road?”
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
With Joy and Thankfulness,
Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved