Trust - Reflections 3-7-20

Texts for Sunday, March 8, 2020

Genesis 12:1-4a
Psalm 121
Romans 4:1-5, 13-17
John 3:1-17

The one word that comes to the surface for me when reading each of these texts is “trust” or maybe more than one word like “trust in God” or “trust in God’s promises”.

In Romans, Paul, in talking about Abraham in the Genesis reading for Sunday (and beyond), uses the phrase “it was reckoned to him as righteousness”. I don’t remember how old I was, but when I was younger, I was captivated by that phrase. Wouldn’t that be a great epitaph on a gravestone? 

According to Paul’s description, Abraham didn’t do anything except trust God’s promise/believe and that was more than enough. God reached out with a new plan for restoring the world – Abraham’s family. Abraham trusted God’s promise and plan.  And through centuries, God has continued to bridge the chasm created by sin, has showed mercy, and been faithful to those promises long made and never forgotten.

These days, accusations, suspicions, contradictions, and conspiracies come at us fast and hard each hour. Trust in just about anybody or anything is hard; that is why I chose the photo above. Trust can be written boldly in the sand and washed away in a moment.  In a world where there is chaos, violence, uncertainty - and COVID-19 – it is easy to despair and be anxious. Whoever wrote Psalm 121 seemed able to hang onto trust in God and pass it on. Read the Psalm again slowly. What word or phrases jump out at you? Which verses do you question or doubt? Which verse brings you comfort? What might you share with another who is anxious and in despair this day?

I have no idea how Abraham managed to trust God and step out in faith. In the Small Catechism, Luther would say that we can’t, but the Holy Spirit works within us to make that possible. So, take a deep breath. God’s holy breath surrounds you and the whole community of faith. Rather than stepping out in faith alone like Abraham, we get to step out together and trust God’s promises.

How to Find Us

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City

Gathered by grace. Scattered for service.

123 E Market Street
Iowa City, IA 52245