On this Second Sunday in Lent we again read and reflect on Scripture from the Book of Genesis. We heard the story of Adam and Eve's trouble last week, and we now jump directly to the call of Abram, skipping over the important stories of humanity's up and down relationship with God, as told through Cain & Abel, Noah and his ancestors, and the Tower of Babel (chapters 4-11). God presents Abram with a new covenant, and assures Abram and his family that they will be a blessing to all God's people. The "blessings of God" can present us with mixed emotions, as we consider the mystery behind the giving and receiving of blessings, and the mystery of why some receive and some do not. We will consider Abram's response to God and how blessings shape and inform our lives with others.
Our Scripture passage is found in the Book of Genesis. You may find the Scripture lesson by selecting the following link: (Genesis 12:1-4a).
For continuing study, reflect on these questions (found in the study guide below):
Read the Scripture lesson for the week (link is provided above). What words or phrases caught your attention as you read the Scripture lesson?
Read the "WHAT..." paragraph in the guide below and reflect on your understanding of the word "blessing." What are some of the characteristics of a "blessing" based on your previous understanding? Reflect on the author's description of the meaning of blessing in the Hebrew language and culture. Do you have any additional thoughts about the meaning of the word "blessing" based on the author's statements?
Read the "WHERE..." paragraph in the guide below, and reflect on the author's statement, "Inevitably, such faithfulness on God's part means that God will suffer all the pain and sorrow that this troubled relationship generates." Do you think God can "suffer pain and sorrow?" If you believe God can suffer, how do you think God suffers because of the pain and sorrow of human sin and brokenness?
Read the "SO WHAT..." paragraph below, and reflect on the following questions: What blessings have we, as individuals and as the church, received from those who have gone before us? How might our response to God's blessing become a blessing to others?
Read the "NOW WHAT..." paragraph below, and reflect on the following sentence: "Abram is a blessing, not because of his own skill, but because he will be used to purely reflect God's light." How can we be a blessing to others by reflecting God's light...and what do you think "God's light" might be in your life?