Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent
The readings for the day can be found here.
“My covenant with you is this:
you are to become the father of a host of nations”
That was God’s fantastic promise to Abraham while Abraham was at the ripe old age of 99 and his wife Sara was a young at heart 90. And it truly was a fantastic promise! Imagine having lived your entire life trying and failing to have children. Imagine the pain, the grief, the frustration, and the powerlessness of being unable to bring a new life into the world. Of not having an heir to carry on the family name, in a society and during a time when lineage was of the utmost importance. Of watching your friends and neighbors have children who grow up and have children of their own.
Then, one day, God tells you that you will father nations, that “kings will stem from you”, and that you and your descendants will be given the whole land of Canaan. What would be your reaction? Shock? Amazement? Even a healthy dose of skepticism? And yet, Abraham believed wholeheartedly in God. And God rewarded that belief, and kept his covenant to Abraham. In fact, God is still keeping his covenant to us, the many descendants of Abraham, to this very day. This covenant “which he made binding for a thousand generations”.
So, what does God ask of us in return? God simply asks that we keep his covenant. That we “look to the LORD in his strength; seek to serve him constantly. Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought”. That “whoever keeps [his] word will never taste death”.
Now is an opportune time to reflect on the commitment we made to God at the beginning of these 40 Lenten days. Whether we are making sacrifices, living simply, or serving others, let us remember to do these services not just for ourselves or one another, but as a way to serve God. As a way to honor and thank Him for His ultimate sacrifice – for the proof of His covenant to us – His son dying on the cross for our sins.
Caroline Kaikati is Program Manager with Corporate and Foundation Relations in the Advancement division.