– Wednesday of the 5th Week of Lent –
[The Jews] answered him, ‘Abraham is our father.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing what Abraham did, but now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did.’ [John 8:39-40]
Today we reference the story of Abraham, our ‘father in faith’. Our faith-stories are important.
The Bible commences with two different stories, both concerning creation. The truths they seek to relate are not, primarily, historical truths nor scientific truths. They are much more significant than that. Among other things, these stories seek to teach us what it means to be in relationship with the One who holds us in being. By contemplating them, we come to understand that, through our selfishness, we have distorted that relationship. We receive the promise that God desires to restore that relationship to its original strength and innocence.
The stories do not end there. To Noah, God teaches what it means to trust. To Abraham and Sarah, what it means to have faith. To Ruth, that God is concerned for all people, no matter their race, status or gender. To David, that God is at work in the people we often dismiss, and what it means to be forgiven. To Solomon, what it means to be truly wise. To Gideon, what it means to have confidence in God. To Jonah, what it means to respond to God. To Job, what it means to hang on amid darkness and confusion. The list goes on and on.
Jesus is the central point of the story: the one who brings it all together. Everything authentic taught to us about God in the Old Testament comes to birth in him, and is revealed in his life, death and resurrection. In Jesus, the storyteller who is God becomes one of us. Our story becomes God’s story.
by Shane Dwyer