GOD CHOOSESThe LORD had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, and your people and your father’s household to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.(vss 1 & 2)
My interfaith family (Muslim and Hindu) often reminds me that, while I could have followed another vocation, God had already ‘had an eye on me’ to become a servant of God’s word. Hence, at my baptism I was given a list of names (Michael Nathaniel Emmanuel Samuel) to recognise this. I now use only two of these names!
My family would warm to this sort of specificity around the call of Abram. For them it suggests the attentiveness of God, even if it is being called out into nothing with nothing. What is important is that God has given the promise that God will make a great nation of this family. Hence, moving into the unknown is made easier knowing that God is with them.
From my experience, God’s call (whatever form or shape it may take) is an invitation to move beyond our own fears: fear of the unknown beyond our control, fear of others who are different from us, and fear of powerlessness in the face of impossibilities. My family taught me that daring to step out is about throwing oneself at the mercy of grace. Though from different religious traditions, this is reflected in their understanding of both faith and faithfulness in God. I think their question to me will be: do you really believe that God, who knows each of us most intimately, can do the impossible in, for and through us?
Prayer † God-who-accompanies-and-sustains, where our hearts are fearful and worried, grant us trust, courage and hope. In the name of the one who frees and releases. Amen.
The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) is a fellowship of 75 million Reformed Christians in 214 churches in 107 countries. Its member churches are Congregational, Presbyterian, Reformed and United churches with roots in the 16th-century Reformation led by John Calvin, John Knox and others. WARC has a small secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.