Morning Prayer: March 29th

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Psalm: 78:1-39
Old Testament: Jeremiah 7:21-34
New Testament: Romans 4:13-21

He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already* as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. (Romans 4:19-21)

One of the key things for Romans (and indeed of Christian theology is answering the question of: How do Gentiles enter into covenant with YHWH???

Paul takes a very interesting approach…..rather than saying that all should be circumcized under the Law, Paul points out that Abraham himself–the very founder of Judaism–was not subject to any formal law.

Rather, the father of all nations had to hold onto a promise….

In making this connection, Paul flips conventional ideology on its head. Abraham no longer becomes the follower of God’s prescribed will….otherwise the promise of descendants might be construed as something which Abraham might be owed.

Since the walls of following statute broken down, so is the excuse that Gentiles are to be excluded. Now everyone is asked not to do God’s will to get in..but to believe in the promises he makes.

For anyone who has had to rely on someone else’s word knows that is an extremely uncomfortable position. What if they decide to bail on the last minute???? What if the person decides to only do 30% of what they had initially said???

Faith in God is not easy….because it is based on a promise of new life and salvation. So how do we know that God is going to live up to our expectations???

For one, we can look at the examples found in Scriptures……taking examples from their lives, prayers, and actions. Another way is to look at the world around us. To look at the beauty of nature, and of the people who make a difference in the world around us. Those Spirit-filled moments are but a foreshadow of the Kingdom of God which Christ inaugurated and has invited us to enter into. +

Morning Prayer: 4th Sunday of Epiphany

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Psalms: 24, 29
Old Testament: Isaiah 51:9-16
New Testament: Hebrews 11:8-16

ll of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, 14for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland……they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one (Hebrews 11: 13-14, 16a)

As I was reading the selection from Hebrews this morning, I found myself wondering what it means to walk by faith. Unlike the patriarchs…..we have seen the promise of Christ and know it to be true. 🙂

That being said, I think there are times when we too have to journey into the unknown…….when we have to make hard decisions about how to live our life.

Based on my own experience, there are definitely times when the modern world makes it hard to live a life of faith. Christianity has long since lost its privileged place in society. What was taken as a given in the past now often requires a defence, a rationale as to why I–as a person who is part of an organized religion–choose to associate myself with such a corrupt institution.

I suspect Abraham might have experienced a similar feeling when he uprooted and left his home in Ur; clinging to a hope and a prayer, proclaiming One God in the midst of a polytheistic culture.

We–like Abraham–are called to go where the Spirit leads us, even when we don’t know where the final destination will be….or what challenges we might face along the way.

The good news in all of this is that we do not walk alone. We are fed with the very Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation to give us strength and hope. :D. May you be blessed day by day as you strive to follow the LORD.+

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