Abraham answered, “Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking? Will you destroy the whole city (Sodom) for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty five there.” Again, Abraham spoke to him, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.” Then Abraham said, “Oh do not let the Lord be angry if I speak just once more. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” And the Lord went his way when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place. (home)
Abraham humbly recognizes himself as “I who am but dust and ashes.” In this passage, I wondered: Is Abraham negotiating with the Lord? Isn’t he prayerfully pleading with his Lord to protect the righteous? Does Abraham need assurance that God will protect them? The Lord listens patiently and God promises justice. Trust in God, Abraham.
FAST FORWARD 2021
Don’t we, too, need to hear God’s promises and his blessed assurance, over and over again, that “everything will be okay?” Abraham was a faithful, obedient servant of the Lord. How can personal faith and trust in the Lord, become a deeper and more constant part of my spiritual life?
FLASH BACK 1998
On Mother’s Day 1998, my dear daughter, Claire, gave me a lovely fabric covered journal. It burst with vivid, impressionistic flowers. Yet her gift lay dormant for eight years! In 2006, I rediscovered it and have been journaling (on and off) for fourteen years. It’s “My Gratitude Journal.” I find myself cultivating a deeper gratitude to God for family, friends, church life, and people, places and things; For the beauty of the earth, inventors, scientists, artists and the like. When I take morning walks, I often begin by praying that God will show me new things to be thankful for. And lo and behold, I come back home and am enlightened to journal. In some mysterious way, God speaks to me through my journaling and my faith, hope and trust are restored.
Pastor Andrew has invited us to “dust” our souls during these 40 days of Lent. Has My Gratitude Journal collected dust? Indeed, time and again. I have recently “blown off the dust” and opened it with pen in hand. Lord, grant in me a trusting and grateful heart!
The hymn, “I Danced in the Morning” by English songwriter, Sydney Carter, is a delight to sing, especially on Easter Sunday. One day in the not so far future, I hope we can all hold hands during worship in a big Circle of Love and sing it! Maybe, just maybe, we may even dance a little jig together!
1. I danced in the morning when the world was begun, and I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun, and I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth, at Bethlehem I had my birth. Refrain.
5. They cut me down and I leapt up high. I am the life that will never, never die. I’ll live in you if you’ll live in me, I am the Lord of the Dance, said he. Refrain.
REFRAIN: Dance, then, wherever you may be, I am the Lord of the Dance said he, and I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be, and I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he.