Pause

During Lent, we consider our relationship with the Holy One. We are but dust, yet made in the image of God.

It is two sides of the same coin. We are significant and beloved in God’s eyes, but who do we think we are to stand in the presence of the Almighty and ask for anything?

At God’s request and in God’s mercy, we enter into a covenant relationship. The unconditional love we experience in that relationship compels us to trust God with every fiber of our being.

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Listen

When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates."

Genesis 15:17-18

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Think

Yesterday’s text described a peculiar ritual act that Abram performed at God’s instruction. The act, strange as it was, suggested a serious binding agreement between Abram and God. Perhaps this was some kind of blood oath. Then, Harry Potter style, a smoking fire pot with a blazing torch passed through the pieces.

Yep, God just showed up all mysterious and strange. I wonder if Abram prayed for a sign when he took his nap in verse 12? His hope and trust were swallowed up in darkness at that point.

In our impatience, we sometimes conclude that if what we want hasn’t happened yet, it’s never going to happen. So God shows up. God brought a flaming torch to light up the night and declare his covenant: “From here to there, far and wide, Abram, this land will belong to you and all your starry descendants. I promise.”

Valerie Burton

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Pray

Shed enough of your holy light for me to see that my future is indeed in your hands, Covenant God. Amen.

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Go

I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.

Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

Psalm 27:13-14 (NIV)

Valerie Burton

Valerie Burton enjoys days that she can stay in her pajamas until after lunch, good coffee, Indian buffets, and rooting for her alma mater, Belmont University, to make it to the Big Dance. Valerie is the minister for Christian formation at Baptist Church of the Covenant in Birmingham, Alabama, where life is rich and full with her husband Allan and their two sons.

Be Still My Soul

Rodrigo Rodriquez

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