Daily Lectionary: Genesis 13:1-18; Mark 5:1-20
The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever.” (Genesis 13:14-15)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Yesterday we heard how God called Abram. Today we hear how God gives to Abram. Even though Lot chose the proverbial greener grasses, God reveals that He is also the God who gives.
God tells Abram to look in every direction on the compass, north and south, east and west. “You see all that land, Abram? It’s all yours. It’s your inheritance and your descendants’ inheritance.”
God is the God who gives. God gives Abram a son: Isaac. God gives Isaac a son: Jacob. God gives Jacob a new name: Israel. God’s gift and promise to Abram was starting to unfold. But God wasn’t done giving yet. God gave Jacob many sons, one of whom was Joseph, who was eventually sold into slavery.
And then, about 400 years years later, God gave His children Israel His promise to rescue and deliver them out of bondage and slavery in Egypt. God gave them victory over Pharoah and a path through the Red Sea. God gave them the tabernacle and sacrifices for sin. God gave them the Promised Land where one day, many, many years later, God would give His own Son to keep and fulfill the promises He made to Abram so long ago.
God gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life. God is the God who gives. Jesus gives His perfect life in exchange for our failures and sins. Jesus gives His death on the Cross in exchange for the punishment we deserved. Jesus gives us His body into the grave and out again in the resurrection.
Jesus is still the God who gives. Jesus gives you a new name and makes you an offspring of Abram by faith delivered in water and Word by the Spirit. Jesus gives you His holy, saving Word of Absolution. Jesus gives you His Body and Blood in the Supper. Jesus gives you His Word and promise just like He did to Abram. And just like Abram, God is the God who gives His gifts to you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty God, we thank you for making the earth fruitful, so that it might produce what is needed for life: Bless those who work in the fields; give us seasonable weather; and grant that we may all share the fruits for the earth, rejoicing in your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
-Rev. Samuel Schuldheisz is pastor of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Milton, WA.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Learn more about your favorite hymns and find the deeper meaning behind the text with Eternal Anthems: The Story Behind Your Favorite Hymns. The book includes devotional commentary and historical facts from forty different contributing authors on fifty different hymns. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.