Scripture: Genesis 17:1-7; 15-16
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.” Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.”
God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” (New Revised Standard Version)
A renewal of God’s covenant (promise) through Abram and Sarai and their son Isaac, not yet born, occurs with the changing of names. Abram (father) becomes Abraham (father of many/multitude) and Sarai becomes Sarah (a form of princess). A name change for Sarah is particularly important because very few women are given significant space in the Old Testament books. Abraham and Sarah will be the link to many nations, not just Israel, offering a connection to Christ’s birth line and a reminder that God’s promise includes all peoples of the world. We are his spiritual seed.
“Everlasting covenant” for me means trusting in God’s promises to us. God always remains faithful and loving, no matter how we might act in our daily life. He challenges us to be the hands and feet of Jesus, not demanding it from us, but by letting Him work through us to help others.
Can we, will we place our faith in God so He can work through us?
A quote I like from Mother Teresa:
“It is His work. I am like a little pencil in God’s hand. That is all. He does the thinking. He does the writing. The pencil has nothing to do with it. The pencil has only to be allowed to be used.”
Make Me Strong in Spirit
Make me strong in spirit,
Courageous in action,
Gentle of heart.
Let me act in wisdom,
Conquer my fear and doubt,
Discover my own hidden gifts.
Meet others with compassion,
Be a source of healing energies,
And face each day with hope and joy.
By Cynthia Roth
Loving God, how will you use me today? Will I serve as a pencil in your hand? Will I conquer fear and doubt and be a source of healing energy? Give me strength so that I may face each day with hope and joy. AMEN