Genesis 7: 1-10;Romans 4: 16-25
In today’s passage, God has more faith, more resilience, and more confidence in a possible future than Abraham and Sarah have. The birth story of little Isaac happens beyond our reason and understanding, but reminds us how to respond to God, not by our reason and understanding, but by wonder, amazement, gratitude, praise, and laughter. Here is the moment when our calling is required and begins to trust the God who can overturn our oddness into God’s promises.
In today’s other passages, Paul also tells us about the reason why we still come to the story of Abraham and Sarah. Yes, we believe this God who still gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. This affirmation is surely a confession beyond understanding, and a proclamation beyond explanation, where faith is required, and our calling begins.
This is the moment where a holy, but challenging dialogue starts inside of us. One voice says, “Can you imagine?” The other voice answers, “Yes, but…”
Can you imagine that your wife, Sarah, is soon to be pregnant? Yes, but I am very old. Can you imagine a new son born right then? Yes, but my wife is old too and fruitless over the last 90 years. Can you still imagine the God who still gives life to the dead and calls things that do not exist into existence? With these questions, perhaps, we are filled with “Yes, but…”
Jesus still comes and challenges us, Can you imagine a dinner for all? Can you imagine a prodigal welcomed home?; Can you imagine the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the lepers are cleansed, and the dead rise again? Can you imagine the world where people pray for persecutors and love their enemies? Yes, but, but, but…
When we have our lives governed by “yes, but,”, by our proud capacity to control or our fearful need to control, we may resist God’s power for newness. We may deny God’s love for all people. We may get rid of chairs around the Lord’s table. We may act like everyone else who does not know about God the creator.
We may limit God to a partisan. We may deny the truth of Jesus’s teachings. And we may resist taking responsibility for being Christian-adulthood by repeatedly saying “yes, but, but, but.” Perhaps, “yes, but” is like a very toxic and dangerous drug that makes us numb, believing that there is not more than what we can explain, no more than what we can control, manage, and predict.
In our day, today, most of time, “yes, but” is powerful and usually wins. The world still tells us that “yes, but” is one of the signs a person has reached adulthood, making us sane, sober, prudent, and competent. However, the world still needs those who can talk about “can you imagine?” rather than “yes, buts.”
Our calling is to surrender all our “yes, buts.” Our calling is to become more a daring community who confess more than we understand; and who proclaim more than we explain. And our calling is to trust God who works well beyond our resistant presuppositions. Amen.