Sermon for February 28th, 2021
Abram, or Abraham, never performed a miracle.
Moses parted the Red Sea, turned the Nile into blood, made water come out of a rock.
Joshua, fought the battle of Jericho and the walls came tumbling down.
David slew Goliath. Solomon was wise and built the first temple. Elijah called down fire from heaven.
But what did Abraham do? Not much.
He didn’t heal the sick. He didn’t command great armies. He didn’t possess great wealth.
I think that it is interesting that with all the amazing things done by and witnessed by Abraham’s descendants, the only thing that Abraham ever really does is listen to and follow the voice of God. When others around him, like those people in Babel, are building cities and great buildings to make a name for themselves, Abram is happy in his tent. Maybe it makes it easier to move when the Lord tell his to move. In fact, the only thing that Abram builds is an altar. Several altars actually…everytime Abram moves he builds an altar there to worship God. This, my friends, is really all that Abraham ever does: he listens to God, he follows God, he worships God.
You know, I am a great believer in celebrating the great saints of the church. There are saints and holy men and women that are very near and dear to my heart. They inspire me. And I believe that many extraordinary miracles have been performed by God through the hands of these holy people, but sometimes I need a reminder that you don’t have to be remarkable or special or extraordinary to be a jewel in God’s crown. And the ultimate reminder of that is Abraham.
He wasn’t terribly bright. He wasn’t particularly good, or honest, but he was willing to talk to God. He was willing to listen and he was willing to follow. Why?
God didn’t promise Abraham an easy life without pain, in fact if you go back and look at the missing passages in Genesis this morning you will find that God asked Abraham to do something quite painful indeed, and Abraham did it, not for his own sake but for the sake of those who would be blessed through him…his children. Abraham wanted to be a father more than anything else and he wanted God to bless his children. This is where the story of our faith begins, with an average father wanting to bless his children. This simple father put more faith in God than he did his own abilities; he was a follower before he was a leader; and he was loved by God before any commandments were ever made or broken. It was his faith that made him special, that was it.
We like to celebrate people in this world that are exceptionally gifted: the talented, the smart, the strong, the beautiful, but this man that God makes a covenant with is none of those things; he’s just faithful. Maybe we should start celebrating faithfulness a little more.
Abraham was an unremarkable, faithful follower of God, but you know what today more than half the world worships (in some form or another) the God of Abraham. If you think that one old, unremarkable, average person faithfully worshipping and following God can’t make a difference and can’t leave a legacy…you’re wrong.