“I’ll make you a great nation and bless you. I’ll make you famous; you’ll be a blessing. I’ll bless those who bless you; those who curse you I’ll curse. All the families of the Earth will be blessed through you.” (Gen 12:2-3 MSG)
But a God that blessed? And used a human to bless others? “All the families of the earth?”
Two minute devotions that have helped change the script in thousands of people's lives.
How do you work within the system without becoming the system? Abraham modelled it for us. He left. He didn’t leave his humanity behind; he didn’t leave chaos behind, or hope, or love, or hard work… He left behind a way of being in the world to inaugurate a new one. The story can serve us as a metaphor… We don’t necessarily have to make a geographical shift, but we can walk away from the system and live into a new way of being. We can be a part of “all families of the earth will be blessed through you.”
Richard Buckminster Fuller said:
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
It’s debatable whether or not Socrates coined this phrase, but regardless, it still rings true:
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
Jesus didn’t fight the old. He allowed himself to be subjected to the rule and reign of Rome. When they came for him, he didn’t resist. He gave himself over to the way the world ran. He mirrored for us what’s wrong with the system of winners and losers, power and domination, consumerism and greed and scarcity.
He followed in Abraham's footsteps when he resurrected and showed us how to trump the system.
Richard Rohr says:
“Christ Crucified is all of the hidden, private, tragic pain of history made public and given over to God. Christ Resurrected is all of that private, ungrieved, unnoted suffering received, loved, and transformed by an all-caring God. How else could we believe in God at all? How else could we have any kind of cosmic hope? How else would we not die of sadness for what humanity has done to itself and to one another?
Jesus is the blueprint, the plan, the pattern revealed in one body and moment of history to reveal the meaning of all of history and each of our lives. The cross is the banner of what we do to one another and to God. The resurrection is the banner of what God does to us in return.”
Written by Liz Milani