Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you…

Genesis 12:1-2

The lectionary has us reading through the key patriarchs of Genesis throughout this Lenten season. Last week it was the first humans. This week, it is the beginning of God’s chosen people.

God calls Abram, later known as Abraham, to leave everything he has ever known behind and go to a distant land. From a historical standpoint, scholars now believe that Abraham was likely a warlord, which would help to explain his willingness to conquer a foreign kingdom. However, the implications of the biblical account for the life of faith are relatively staggering.

Consider this: would you leave all you know behind to follow where God was leading?

Unlike Abram, we do live in the twenty-first century and have the ability to communicate instantaneously with those we have left and even to go back and visit. So many might say, yes, sure. That sounds simple enough. Yet, there is always something challenging about giving up your home to follow God’s invitation.

I am one who followed that call. Over time I have found that God’s invitation in my life is to go where I am lead, and that none of those roads seem to lead back home – no matter how much I sometimes wish they would. I am not alone in this. And there are many people, not just pastors, missionaries, and priests, who feel God’s nudge to a different place that leaves them never quite the same.

Nevertheless, for many people, the request to travel long distances to follow God is not a part of their call. But here is what always is: are you willing to give up every comfort you’ve ever known? To break with your family? To let go life as you know it, in order to follow where God is leading?

Sometimes it is not a physical location so much as a transformational place.

Will you do what God is asking even if the world hates you? Will you speak as a prophet to the world’s powers even if your family disowns you? Will you let loose your resources to seek God’s kingdom in this world even if that means you lose some of your own comfort?

What we do know for certain is this: when God is active in our lives, we can never stay the same.

So where is God calling you to let go and follow?

Blessings, Pastor Janie

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