Today is Friday the 25 June, in the Twelfth Week of Ordinary Time.
The Choir of Portsmouth Cathedral sing the Benedictus.
Today’s reading is from the Book of Genesis.
Genesis 17:1, 9-10, 15-22
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. God said to Abraham, ‘As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. God said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.’ Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said to himself, ‘Can a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Can Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?’ And Abraham said to God, ‘O that Ishmael might live in your sight!’ God said, ‘No, but your wife Sarah shall bear you a son, and you shall name him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. As for Ishmael, I have heard you; I will bless him and make him fruitful and exceedingly numerous; he shall be the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this season next year.’ And when he had finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham.
The Biblical message in its deepest sense seldom appears more simply put than it does to Abraham in today’s reading: “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless.” What stirs up in you as you hear these words? Do you feel unsettled … or inspired …
Perhaps there is one word or phrase that lifts you up, that makes you want to say “Yes!” … or perhaps there is a word or phrase that makes you falter, makes you doubt: “No! Not that!” “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless.” How are you taking these words to heart? Are you inspired or are you unsettled?
God goes on to make a covenant with Abraham and his children. As you listen again to the conversation between God and Abraham, think about the promises you may have made with God in baptism and confirmation.
Let yourself be drawn into to a conversation with Almighty God who both demands and promises. Such a conversation goes to the centre of our faith. At the very centre of your faith, what do you hear God asking of you? At that very centre, what do you sense he is prepared to do for you?
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.