Text: Genesis 12:1-4, John 8:54-56, Galatians 3:6-14
Leaving what is known for the unknown of new beginnings takes enormous inner strength and courage. As a newlywed, my husband and I left family and friends for the unknown of the West. We were terrified and expectant, sad and excited all in one breath as we moved across the country to begin a new life together. Perhaps you’ve experienced life-altering decisions like this, too.
What I’ve learned over the years is that God rarely calls us to comfort and convenience but instead to a life of faith and trust. Such is the story of Abraham and God’s everlasting promises to him and his descendants. It is a covenant deeply woven into the fabric of the Advent story.
When we meet Abram, before God changes his name to Abraham, he is living in the land of his people, where he has been for 70 years. But God appeared to Abram with instructions to leave—in faith—the comfort and safety of this familiar life. God promised to make Abram’s name great. The man who had yet to become a father would now father a great new nation—a nation marked by mercy and grace, a living illustration of the forgiveness and love of an everlasting God.
All that was required of Abram was to obey in faith.
Of all the promises God made to Abram, one was key: a son. The long-awaited promised son to an older barren woman and her faithful husband would become the seed of a family tree through which Jesus Christ was born to save all humanity. The first promised son was a foreshadowing of the second, when God would come to earth in flesh and blood to redeem mankind’s past, present, and future sins for a new beginning. Two baby boys, born 2000 years apart, would change the world.
That second baby boy, Jesus Christ, was the true and better Abraham. He, too, left the comfort and safety of His home with His Father. While Abraham’s obedience led generations to the Promised Land, Jesus’s obedience fulfilled the whole of God’s covenant of love to His people, so that we who have faith are also “Abraham’s sons,” heirs to the promise (Galatians 3:6-7). Like Abraham, we are invited to have faith not only in what we cannot see, but also in what has already been secured for us by our good and sovereign Father.
God’s sovereignty over Abraham’s story illuminates the ultimate love God has for us. Jesus is the Son of promise, and all of God’s promises to us are made possible through Him (2 Corinthians 1:20). New beginnings tell the story of grace, mercy, and forgiveness—gifts from a loving Father who is worthy of our faith, even when we cannot see what lies ahead.
Where is God calling us to new beginnings? Will we remain in the familiar or step out in faith?
May we obey His calling and trust that He will fill us with strength and courage, grace and peace, hope and joy—everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). These were the gifts given to Abraham, and they are the Advent gifts freely given to us through Jesus Christ.