And where Jesus, our Forerunner, has gone in before us. He is now and forever our Royal Priest like Melchizedek. Hebrews 6:20 (TPT)
You are Not Alone – The Promise Series – Part 8
Jesus is like our Royal Priest Melchizedek. A guy who, up until this point, was only mentioned twice in scripture, but was still considered awesome enough to be compared to Christ.
Like this passage in Hebrews, the first time he was mentioned in the Biblical text is in Genesis 14, smack bang in the middle of Abraham's story.
Two chapters before that, God made Abraham a whole bunch of promises and told him that he would begin a new tribe, in a new place, doing new things. “All the families of the earth will be blessed through you (Abraham).” Genesis 12:3.
Abraham was traveling after a battle against King Chedorlaomer when a man approached him with bread and wine and called himself “King Melchizedek of Salem.” Genesis described him as the “priest of God Most High.”
Hang on, wasn’t Abraham the only one onto something?
Didn’t God single him out? Tell him to go start something new?
Wasn’t “Father Abraham” the patriarch of our faith? The one who started it all? All by himself?
It's usually the way that when we think we are all alone in the world, in either prideful or humble ways, someone turns up and shows us otherwise. The challenge, then, is not to miss them when they arrive.
Back in Genesis, life had been escalating at an alarming pace: violence and war, technology and towers, us verses them, confusion and mess… it was all there. In the middle of it all, God called Abraham to something new. In this newness, he met a man named Melchizedek, who prayed over him and blessed him with wine and bread (symbols of The Christ who was to come).
Abraham was a man who was all alone but suddenly wasn’t. Melchizedek, was, as the writer Hebrews said, a forerunner, someone who paved the way.
We are never alone.
And that is quite possibly the greatest hope we have. The promise beneath the promises of prosperity and children and health and vitality and career and opportunity and all the things we bank on happening and not happening; the one thing we can be sure of even when we can’t see it or touch or hold it – except for within our own breath – is that we are connected.
You already belong. You are not alone. In your newness, failures, waiting, and heartache.
As Thomas Merton said:
“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.” (from his book, Love and Living.)
Abraham and Sarah were promised descendants as numerous as the stars. The journey was long, and heartbreaking, and filled with all manner of events.
I can’t help but wonder if what they were promised wasn’t so much physical children, but rather community. Because it's in community that we find love, connection, and hope.
Hope being the anchor that connects us to The Divine. The breath in our lungs, the shared energy between friends, the community of belonging and giving and receiving.
If you feel like you’re on a boat, way out to sea, all by yourself, with a vast and imposing ocean of uncertainty beneath you, take a moment and breathe. Look up at the stars. Count them. Look around and see Melchizedek coming to you with bread and wine in his hands. Throw your proverbial anchor overboard and feel it catch hold.
Promise me you will.
Written by Liz Milani
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