Home is where God CALLS You
Second Sunday in Lent
Analysis by Mark A Marius
1The Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
4aSo Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him.
God promised blessing for Abram and for us too. And we know it is not derived from circumstances, bloodlines, or possessions, but from trusting God’s presence working in our lives.
DIAGNOSIS: Hang ups
Step 1: Initial Diagnosis (External Problem): Leaving Your Country
Go. New land awaits. But this is a big ask for anyone. We are prone to hang on to what we know, what we see, what we can touch, even if it is not good for us. We are even reluctant to make change that is good for us. The laws of nature tell us to hold on to what we have instead of facing an uncertain future.
Step 2: Advanced Diagnosis (Internal Problem): Leaving Your Kindred
Go. Leave those who love you best. Imagine the internal struggle required to leave family behind. We fear being unloved and unknown, and who knows and loves us better than our families? God? Can we trust that? Abram is about to find out.
Step 3: Final Diagnosis (Eternal Problem): On Your Own
Leaving it all behind and finding ourselves all alone among strangers who may or may not be enemies? Sounds like a losing proposition. Would this be what we call hell? Is this what so many people experience in our world? A life apart from God is no way to live. Abram has got to wonder if this is the direction in which he is headed. But also, what will come his way by ignoring God’s call. Is he feeling snakebit?
PROGNOSIS: Blessed by God’s Confidence
Step 4: Initial Prognosis (Eternal Solution): Great Nation
God sees to it that we are not alone. Sending Abram was the start, sending Jesus to die for us seals the deal. Jesus’ hang-up supersedes all our hang-ups when it comes to trusting God’s call. And so God does make of Abram a great nation and through Jesus’s resurrection gives to us a kingdom of heaven to dwell in.
Step 5: Advanced Prognosis (Internal Solution): Great Name
God promised blessing for Abram and for us too. And we know it is not derived from circumstances, bloodlines, or possessions, but from trusting God’s presence working in our lives. God’s calling never ends and is heard in the words of Baptism (being born of the spirit; see John 3) as we are proclaimed a beloved child of God. And the blessing is repeated in the Holy Eucharist as God’s grace is “given for you.”
Step 6: Final Prognosis (External Solution): All Families are Blessed
Abram went as the Lord commanded and we can too. We are sent into our world not tied to country, kin, or class. We work the land God has given us through our calling in Christ—the Kingdom of Heaven. All are blessed by our participating in God’s good works, attempting our Lenten disciplines, and letting go of the things that keep us from following God.