January 2, Year A

Inspired by Genesis 12:1-7

“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.’”  Genesis 12:1-3 (NRSV)

Many of us want fame and fortune, and while much of Christian discipleship and religious practice in general focuses on eschewing these things, fame and fortune were what God promised to Abram (later called Abraham).  In ancient times wealth was measured by land.  A large family was a sign of power and influence.  When God called Abraham to follow him, these were the things he promised him.

But God did not promise Abraham fame and fortune simply for Abraham’s own personal benefit.  God wanted to bless Abraham so he would be a blessing to others.  God would entrust fame and fortune to Abraham so Abraham would be the means through which God would bless all the families of the earth.

Many of us have been blessed with some measure of wealth and influence.  How are you using the blessings God has given you?  Don’t keep them only for your own benefit; use what God has given you to be a blessing for others, and participate in God’s gracious work in the world.

Let us pray.  God of abundance, you have blessed us with many things.  Help us to be a blessing to others, that all the world may know your love and grace.  Through Christ our Lord, Amen.