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, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I 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.”
So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Abram took his wife Sarai and his brother’s son Lot, and all the possessions that they had gathered, and the persons whom they had acquired in Haran; and they set forth to go to the land of Canaan. When they had come to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram, and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
Moving isn’t most people’s idea of a good time. Packing feels overwhelming, loading and unloading the truck are exhausting, and settling in seems never ending. (Who doesn’t have one box still unopened in the basement?) Then there’s the way moving often takes us far away from the places we know and the people we love.
But God doesn’t let those challenges stop him from calling us to a new home. Abraham and Sarah had to pack up their tents, load up their camels, and slowly make their way from their home in Ur to a new land, Canaan. Abraham and Sarah could have decided to stay put, figuring that the energy of moving wasn’t worth it. They could have established themselves more deeply in Ur and remained close to their families.
If they had done that, though, God’s blessing wouldn’t have gone out to the world. Through Abraham, God promises to bless all the families of the earth. Abraham’s willingness to do something uncomfortable and unknown means that the grace of God goes out.
In Abraham’s journey, we can see the faint outlines of Jesus himself. The Son of God also left his home, where he dwelled with the Father. He also traveled to a distant land, the land of humanity. And through him, the grace of God went out.
Jesus’s willingness to leave the comfort of the divine dwelling and enter into our world means that the blessing extends to us. From him, we have received grace upon grace.
Prayer: Jesus, you were born of flesh and came into the world, an uncomfortable home for someone used to divinity. But you knew that if you didn’t, I wouldn’t receive your grace. So you came. Thank you. Help me to step away from familiar spaces into new ones, where you can spread your grace through me. Amen.