Because I have usually looked at the story of Abram’s call through the lens of Romans 4: 1-5, I have taken it to be the story of one man’s faith journey. It is that, but it is more. Read on and see that the 75 year old Abram travelled with his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all the persons and possessions gathered together in Haran. Here a big group of people travelled from the River Euphrates by way of the fertile crescent to the promised land, which Canaanites already called home. This is a story of a mass migration, and we learn later that God was not pleased with any people who did not show hospitality to the migrants.
Seeing the story in this way, we can take at least two lessons from it.
First, we the church are called to be a pilgrim people, never content to settle into a fixed routine, always open to new insights into how we should worship and whom we should serve. With many of our congregations now without settled ministers, God may be inviting us to explore new ways of doing church together.
Second, the story may also be challenging us about what we should be asking our government to do in response to a flow of migrants and refugees which will increase as climate change impacts their homelands.
Is this Lent challenging us to leave behind our comfort zones?
To what new future are we being called?
Rev Rosalind Terry