In recent years, it has become the rage to get a swab of your DNA and send it away to discover their origins. Undoubtedly, many have begun the pursuit of creating their family tree. Some have discovered their relationship to noble characters, some to villains, and even met relatives through this experience. Why do people do this? Simply put, they want to understand their roots and what makes them uniquely themselves!
We are a part of an ancient faith tradition. If you were to swab the DNA of Christianity, you would quickly start seeing our family tree bustling with branches. There would be the recent advent of the United Church of Christ in 1957 from the merger of four denominations. Going further still, you would see the limb of Congregationalists settling in New England, who some call the Pilgrims; further still our roots are connected to the reformations of the 1500’s who protested the Roman Catholic Church. If we go back to the time of Jesus, we discover that our family tree was a large branch splitting away from the Jewish faith. And the trunk of this tree is a singular person, Abraham.
When we first meet this man, he goes by the name Abram. In Genesis 12:1-4. Abram was invited to leave the place of known-ness, comfort and family. Abram was given a hope and a promise that led him beyond the place where he was. And the irony is that he wasn’t a young man! At 75 years old, he is not only starting over, but walking into the unknown future with a promise from God.
Isn’t that true of us? We are invited to walk into the unknown future assured that we aren’t alone. Abram isn’t given GPS coordinates or even a place, just an invitation. He must have wrestled with those first steps and whispered to himself, What am I doing?! Yet he kept taking another step. Often, God calls us to take a step in faith, into the unknown. Most often it feels like a letting go of the known, to journey into the unknown. The only way to live in the unknown is a profound faith that all shall be well, all manner of things shall be well! This week, we’ll dive into this man’s story to discover our DNA of faith, revealed in Abram.