Today we read about Abram who leaves his country and travels to Canaan (Genesis); about David’s praise and teaching after he escapes from Gath (Psalm); about faith and examples of the faith of Old Testament ancestors (Hebrews); and about Jesus as the bread of life (John).
There is a lot going on in these readings, but the common thread I see in them is faith. Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” All of today’s readings provide examples of people who acted in faith, even though they didn’t know exactly what God was planning or understand what God was promising for the future.
John records the story of Jesus telling a questioning crowd that he is the bread of life. Whoever believes in him will never be thirsty. Three times in the Gospel of John, Jesus tells us to believe in him. “This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.”
During Advent, we exercise faith when we prepare for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Although we can’t physically see or hear or touch our Lord, we can always turn to the Bible to read how people like Cain, David, Abraham, Sarah, and many others acted on their faith. All we have to do is to believe, to have faith. We need to trust God enough to act even when that action is as simple as saying “Yes!” – we want Jesus in our lives.
Lord, thank you for your faithful servants who have come before us and provide us with examples of living in faith. Help us to grow in our faith so that we can hear your voice and trust you enough to obey. Amen.
- Sue Reier