January 3, Year A

Inspired by Genesis 28:10-22

“And the Lord stood beside [Jacob] and said, ‘I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring…Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.’”  Genesis 28:13, 15 (NRSV)

Generally speaking, we lack patience.  We want what we want when we want it, and we get frustrated when things don’t happen according to our own timetables.  We’re on this earth for a limited period of time, and we have difficulty acknowledging how our lives are continuing a narrative that began long before us, and how we are shaping the environment for those who come after us.

But God transcends time.  God made promises to Abraham that were not completely fulfilled during Abraham’s lifetime.  God promised to make him a great nation, but though Abraham lived in the land God had promised, he and his small family did so as resident aliens.  Years later God renewed those promises to Abraham’s grandson, but Jacob would not live to see those promises fulfilled, either.  It would be several hundred years before Abraham’s descendants would become a great nation, and it would be over a thousand years before all the families of the earth could begin to be blessed through Abraham.  Even today that promise is still being fulfilled, and has not yet been brought to completion.

Just because it’s not happening according to out timetable doesn’t mean that God has forgotten his promises.  His presence with us does not end when our earthly life is over.  God is eternal, his promises are eternal, his faithfulness is eternal, and his love is eternal.

Let us pray.  Eternal Lord, your vision is far greater than we can comprehend.  Grant us patience, that we may trust in your faithfulness even when we can’t see your activity.  Through Christ our Lord, Amen.