The scriptures that have followed this past Easter season have contained powerful stories that reveal a unique understanding of how God works in the world and the evolving understanding of what God expects of us.
First comes the Torah and the stories of God’s work through Abraham. He is to become father of a great people, he is known as Friend of God. He learns that ‘nothing is impossible for God’, his wife Sara laughs and she delivers a son even in her old age. Abraham is asked to sacrifice that son, the one whom he loves, he is tested and discovers that God will provide.
Years later Jesus is born and Baptized into the world bringing sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf. He brings the message that the Kingdom of God has come into the world. God expects God’s people, with the support of the Holy Spirit, to become God’s hands in the world. We are to love God and our neighbor as we love ourselves.
Then comes the Reformation: a reset in how we understand God’s work in our midst. We understand the scriptures as words of Grace and Forgiveness apart from the work of the law. We are called to be the church, the community that expresses God’s care for the world.
I believe that we have entered another time of an evolving understanding God’s expectations of us. In the midst of a global sickness and ecological crisis, we are called to see the gifts of science and healing. We are reminded of God’s promise to Abraham that he would become the father of God’s people; the people of the world. With the development of the computer and internet we are joined to a worldwide and instant comprehension of all humanity. As long as anyone is enslaved, is unable to breathe, is oppressed and unwelcome, God is enslaved, dying from a lack of air, is oppressed and unwelcome. God has not changed. We are called to change, to see God’s expectation for our response to injustice. As this past Sunday’s Gospel ended we are reminded that we are called to give even a cup of water to those little ones.