A Message for Lent: Let Us Trust
I’d like to share with you this Prayer – an Interfaith Call to Peace for Ukraine:
You are the fortress:
may there be no more war.
You are the harvest:
may there be no more hunger.
You are the light:
may no one die alone or in despair.
Our hearts go out to all those who are suffering in this new time of war in Eastern Europe. We are doing what we can, through giving, through praying, through any action that is possible for us from such a distance.
In our reading from the Second Sunday in Lent (Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18), Abram (later renamed Abraham), who is unable with his wife Sarai (Sarah) to have children, is told by the Lord that he will receive a great reward. But Abram is worried. He is concerned about what will happen to his property.
Then the Lord takes him outside and tells him his descendants will be as many as the stars in the sky. The scripture says that Abram “believed the Lord.” The meaning of the original Hebrew word is more like “trust.” Abram “trusts the Lord,” despite a lot of evidence that would discourage him from doing that, despite his uncertainty about how it’s all going to unfold. And this – his trust – is his “righteousness.”
Earlier in the story from Genesis, Abram and Sarai had left everything behind, their home and their family, to go as the Lord had asked, they knew not where. How many of us would have done that? They must have been afraid. They went anyway. And along the way there were obstacles, and there were doubts.
Yet Abram trusted. This was an important passage for Paul. It told him that it wasn’t what Abram DID that made him righteous. It was because he trusted God. His trust made him righteous. And that trust certainly was a kind of vulnerability. How could he ever know what God had in store for him? How can any of us know what God has in store for us?
Today, in these times that are challenging in so many ways, we are all praying. Now, in addition to the unpredictability of the pandemic, which may be mitigating for us here but is still very much a threat in other parts of the world, we are faced with the unpredictability of the situation in Eastern Europe. We may be feeling very vulnerable.
Yet let us remember what we are called, above all, in all times, to do – trust in the Lord. Trust, hope, and keep going – what else is there to do? – knowing that wherever we go, Jesus goes with us.
May we remember, especially in difficult times, that God is our companion. Inspired by Abraham and Sarah, may we trust. This Lent and always, my friends, wherever we go, we go with God. Amen.