Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. - Galatians 3:7, 9

In chapter two of The Story we are introduced to one of the most influential characters of the entire Bible- Abraham. God chooses this one man through whom he will build a nation that will forever have a special place in God's dealings with human beings. It is through Abraham that the Jewish race will descend and eventually give us the Messiah, Jesus himself.

As Abraham is referenced in the New Testament it is most often in conjunction with some instruction on faith. Abraham is the "father of the faithful," the example of what it means to follow God without question (or at least with just a few), the man who stands as a model to us all. And by all, I mean not only Jews but all who believe, Jew and non-Jew alike. In fact, Paul even makes the case that all of us who believe are children of Abraham and benefactors of the same promises - regardless of our genetics.

I take some pride in being a descendant of one of the pilgrims who sailed to the new land on the Mayflower. Accompanied by her parents, Constance Hopkins came to Plymouth as a child. As it turns out she is my great(x10 or so)-grandmother. I think that's cool and I'd like to think that some of the same adventurous spirit and dedication to faith that must have characterized her lives to some degree in me. I also like to share that story with my kids hoping that they will develop the same pride.

A few years ago my son Bao, whom we adopted from China, was learning about the pilgrims in his third grade class when he exclaimed to his teacher that HE was a descendent of one of those Mayflower passengers! Noting his obvious Asian heritage one child asked with a puzzled expression, "How could Bao be a descendant of a pilgrim?" In spite of genetics he claimed pilgrim ancestry.

By virtue of a spiritual connection I too claim an ancestry that is not technically mine. I am a child of Abraham and in that I take some pride. And by that connection I would like to think that the same kind of adventurous faith and dedication to God that characterized Abraham's life lives to some degree in me.

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