Today’s lectionary texts offer a quick summary of what has been called salvation history, beginning with the Israelites who “with sure knowledge of the oaths in which they put their faith…have courage.” (WIS 18:6-9) Both this reading and the second are primarily a commentary on the faith and hope of Abraham whose journey of life took a serious turn when he was facing old age and God told him to leave his home and move to a land God would show him. He could have stayed home…but he didn’t. Sometimes we have to wait for God’s call as Psalm 33 tells us. (Our soul waits for the Lord who is our help and our shield. May your kindness, O Lord, be upon us who have put our hope in you.)
Things are not always clear on the spiritual journey. The Letter to the Hebrews reminds us of this by saying: Faith is the realization of things hoped for and evidence of things not seen. Speaking of Abraham’s faith the letter chronicles his story and how God worked through him because of his faith. (HEB 11:1-2, 8-10) But none of these words are just about Abraham. It is for us also to wait for the Lord in hope. Today is a reflection on our own sense of what faith calls out from us. Sometimes it isn’t easy to be patient with ourselves or what some have called “the slow work of God.” But we look to Jesus who is the model for such trust who gives good advice for the posture we ought to take when he says: Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who wait for their master’s return from a wedding. (LK 12: 34-48) Are we willing to wait for the clarity that sometimes only comes toward the end of our lives? Can we look back from the vantage point of today and see patterns of God’s love and the deepening of our faith and hope? For me, the most significant line in all of today’s Scripture selections comes from Jesus when he says: Where your treasure is, there your heart will be.
May we all search our hearts today for the treasure of faith and hope that abides there – sometimes too deep to access, sometimes right before our eyes, but always, always there – waiting in the light of our God.