Genesis 17:6-7 (NIV): When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.”
It is early in the season of Lent, a long way from Easter. Lent: The period of forty weekdays prior to Easter, beginning with Ash Wednesday.
“Lent is a time for reflection on (and perhaps even wrestling with?) our relationship with God.” Say what?! Take me as an example. At an early age I knew bearing children was not going to happen for me — even though I love children and am their favorite auntie! I have 14 nieces and nephews, and I absolutely LOVE being an aunt. I am a fulfilled individual and I want to leave a mark in this our world … it will be on others — my nieces, nephews, and the world around me — rather than through children of my own. This is my choice, and I am fine with the decision.
So, how is today’s text relevant for individuals like me, who because of a myriad of circumstances brought no offspring into this world that we will have an everlasting covenant?
“When we hear about the tragic conflicts among the descendants of Abraham, we know that we have a long, long way to go toward realizing that dream of God, the blessing that lies out there, in the future.”
Here is where Lent — the journey to Easter and beyond — gets interesting. Lent is an opportunity for facing the times we live in “as-is” and transforming them into the ways “to live reverently, deliberately, and fully awake — that is what it means to live in the promise, where the wait itself is as rich as its end.”
So, there we have it —we the people with and without an offspring, we need to embrace our lives as the call of what it means to be of an offspring and leave an “offspring legacy” in that “the promise is alive, as vivid as a rainbow, as real as the million stars overhead” (“The Late Bloomer,” Gospel Medicine).
Prayer: Dear We the People: Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God. These requirements of Abraham by God sound simple: “Walk before me, and be blameless.” Amen.
The Reverend Lizette Merchán Pinilla, M.Div. is a minister in the Kansas-Oklahoma Conference of the United Church of Christ (UCC). She serves as a member of the UCAN UCC–HIV/AIDS Network http://www.ucc.org/ucan, a member of the Leadership team with Proyecto Encuentros de Gracia y Bienvenida http://www.ucc.org/leadership_team_equipo_de_liderazgo.
Team member of the DOC/UCC Colombia partnership http://www.ctucc.org/colombiapartnership supporting the efforts for peacemaking in Colombia, and is the convener of the Tulsa Hispanic Resource Association (social-services organization) https://www.facebook.com/Tulsa-Hispanic-Resource-Association-79480595813/.
Rev. Merchán is also a published writer http://www.ucc.org/worship_samuel, a bilingual preacher and teacher, a social-service provider, an interpreter, a translator, and an inhabitant of the world.