Tuesday, August 24, 2010

CLM -- Abraham's Call

I was approved last year by my Charge Conference to pursue certification as a lay minister. I'm working my way through that process. Part of Module 1 of the training concerns God's Call. Several scripture references are given, and the participant is asked to respond to a couple of questions. I found this an interesting exercise, and I'll post some of my responses on the blog as we move along.

I've added my own question at the end:

Person and Passage: Abraham in Genesis 12:1-9

How did the person involved hear God’s call to them?

God’s call to Abram was heard at first in Haran, where he had gone with his father, wife and cousin, Lot. He “hears” it – “Now the Lord said to Abram…” Later, along the journey, and in the same passage, God appears to Abram at the Oak of Moreh. Moreh is a Hebrew term for teaching or instructing. Literally, God appears to Abram at the Oak that Instructs. Abram and his descendants are people of the Land, and it is natural that their connection to God often appears through nature. Perhaps that speaks to us as well – God finds us where we are.

What was the response of the person to God’s call? Did they freely answer the call? How did they feel about the call?

Abram did as God calls. He packs up his family and his possessions and leaves his father’s house, moving on to Canaan. Toward the end of this passage, he builds two altars to the Lord. Abram’s response is one of obedience and worship. In the Message, the last verse is translated as “Abram kept moving, steadily making his way south, to the Negev.”

What it says to me:

God comes to us where we are and reaches toward us in the midst of what we are doing. To hear him requires faith on our parts – faith in the belief that God will speak to us; will call to us. Abraham doesn’t perfectly answer his call – just reading through Genesis will confirm that, but he worships God and then he “kept moving, steadily making his way….” If we do that, then we will see the presence of God in our lives, moving steadily with us.

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