Reflecting on Genesis 12: 1-4a
One of the first things I learned about scripture is that God told Abram that HE AND HIS FAMILY would be a blessing. I knew that Abram would be blessed, but missed the best part, that all the communities of the earth would be blessed by him.
Imagine saying to your child as she gets out of the car for school, “Remember to bless your teacher today. Remember to give that extra sandwich to your friend who never has his lunch.” Such is the world blessed.
In fact, a portion of the Talmud— the rabbinic debates in the 2nd-5th century on the teachings of the Torah—insists that it’s forbidden to benefit from the world without making a blessing! I guess that means my sister has it right. When we visit her in San Diego we must stop at every scenic turn in the road to notice the greatness of God.
As I stare at the beautiful Valentine bouquet my Muslim friend Zeenat sent me, I remember how deeply her presence, and that of all her family, has blessed me. I recall circling the huge University parking lot for a space so I could attend her graduation. Her younger brother and sister-in-law rushed to their car and drove it away so that I could have their close-in spot. Such a blessing.
The three great religions all spring from Abram. Visit Bethlehem some Christmas Eve and try to navigate through the thousands of Jews, Christians, and Muslims all crowding together. Descendants like the stars in the skies, indeed.
Jesus Christ, descendant of Abraham, has fulfilled the command to be a blessing. By his cross, death, and resurrection, he has set us free.
In what ways do you make of your life a blessing?