Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
Author: Brittany Fiscus-van Rossum
Reflection: v. 11, ‘when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away’
Imagine it with me: there’s Abram—tired, frustrated, and trying to be faithful as he beats away a bunch of vultures vying for his offering. Do you think he cussed them out? I would have. ‘This meat is for God, you ungrateful buzzards! Buzz off!’ At this point, Abram has completely uprooted his life and dragged his family to who-knows-where on the uncertain promise that God will bless him with innumerable descendants… someday. ‘Look at the stars,’ God promises, as Abram yearns for a legacy. But in the present moment what Abram is doing is shooing hungry birds away from dead animal carcasses. Now there are a lot of interesting pieces that we could ponder together in this passage, but for me this year, it was the image of a sweaty, frustrated Abram protecting his offering that stood out to me. Why, you ask? Because this very non-glamourous, hands-on image of faithfulness seemed relatable to me in this long and arduous season of serving our Lord. In some ways, it feels as if the people of God at Mercy Church have had a tough couple of years. Yes, we have much to be grateful for, but I would be lying if I said it has been easy showing up day in and day out. We are doing everything we can to be faithful to one another in these uncertain and difficult times, and yet sometimes it seems we can’t catch a break. And so, like our friend Abram here, we pray to hold on, we pray to remain faithful and good to one another even when it is hard, and even when there is only the promise that things will get easier. And for the time being? Well, we’ll keep shooing the pesky birds away, trusting that God shows up to fulfill God’s promises.
Prayer God be with us, even when it feels like things are for the birds.