The texts from the Bible are often presented in a language quite different from our own way of speaking.
Different types of literature are used to transmit to us the message of God.
And, not only is the language different but, often too, the scenes represent actions and reactions that may seem foreign to our culture – and they are!
But the message has definitely something very appropriate for our own lives!
The 1st reading of this Sunday (Gn.15:5-12,17-18) is a good example of this.
The scene describes God who invites Abraham to enter a special friendship with him –
this is the meaning of the word ‘alliance’, a pact, an agreement of close relationship between two people.
Strange enough, God asks Abraham for something… quite impossible!
“Look up at the sky and count the stars…”
Who could do this? An impossible task if ever there was one!
But God adds: “If you can…”
This text which would not usually attract the comments of writers on the Bible has struck me.
The reason is that it illustrates, for me, the pedagogy of God!
God knows well what we can or cannot do, but… we are not always aware of this ourselves!
We are not always conscious of our tremendous potential and our limitations!
And, as important and even more so: we need to become aware of what God can do… if only we allow him.
We know and it is often repeated to us that God can do everything.
Yes, everything except… one, I believe!
He cannot, he does not, infringe on the freedom he has given us.
God calls, he invites, he may urge, or even… cajole us into friendship with him but it is a decision WE must make.
The decision of accepting him in our lives, every aspect of it, every situation, every moment…
A good thing to remember… the next time you lift up your eyes to the sky… and see the stars!
Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/2e-dimanche-du-careme-annee-c-2019/