December 26, 2021

To Believe in a Promise and to Live by It

Pastor KJ Kim

Genesis 1: 1-8

In today’s passage, when Abram was one year short of a hundred years old, God appeared to him again, renewing the covenant between them, “I am El Shaddai which means I am God Almighty.”

This was not a new thing for Abram. Abram had heard it before; however, one thing for sure was that God remembered the promise; Abram and Sarai remembered; and the covenant was renewed.

On this particular occasion in today’s passage, God decided to give the old couple a new baby as a daily reminder of who God was. And God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, meaning “father of a multitude of nations,” and also God changed Sarai’s name to Sarah, meaning “kings of people shall come from her.”

“Abraham and Sarah” were pretty close to “Abram and Sarai,” but the problem was what those names meant. Especially, since Sarah went by her new name, Sarah would have carried a heavy burden in her heart during her barren days.

Although Abraham and Sarah looked up at the night sky by remembering the promise God made, and went by their new names, and heard it from each other, it was a hard thing to believe in a promise with no power to make it come true.

I imagine that Abraham and Sarah used to go outside at night and look at the million stars overhead intentionally and regularly, seeking the reminders from God that assured them that the promise was renewed and alive. This is what it means to live in the promise, where the wait itself is as rich as its end.

How about us as we are looking back at 2021 and look ahead to 2022? What better way we have learned so far rather than just holding or saying a cliché which may be in the future tense, “Everything WILL be fine.”

I invite us again, no, challenge us again to wake every morning to the possibility that today might be the day—the day that is graciously given by God; the day we can love more, serve more, and share more with others. To remain wide awake all day long, noticing everything God’s hands and feet might have veiled as in hidden—the way the trees change their color; and how the smell of the fields changes from green grass to yellow hay; and how many stars we can count at night. To search the face of every stranger in case it turns out to be an angel of God.

To live like that, we continue to count God’s blessings and to discover God’s presence that is not a future thing, but now in the present moment, and in the past days of 2021 and in the upcoming days of 2022.

May almighty God, El Shaddai, continue bless each, and every, one of us.

Amen.