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Thought for the Day by Alex Forrest (Voluntary Staff Worker)
The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”4 Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.”
Gen 1715 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.” 19 your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.
Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.
In my recent bible reading I’ve gone back to the beginning! Reading through the first book of the Bible in the lead-up to Christmas has hugely reminded me of the incredible promises that God gave to his people right from the very start and how he fulfilled so many of them at Christmas, thousands of years later.
Abraham’s story is filled with similarities to the events of the first Christmas. In Chapter 12v1-3 God gives him a calling to go into a new land, promising him blessing just as he did with Mary and Joseph. In Chapter 15v3-4 we see the ultimate Christmassy link of a baby being promised into an impossible situation. While Mary and Joseph, in their early-mid teens seemed impossibly young to be having children, Abraham and Sarah were very much in their twilight years, definitely too old to conceive. In chapter 17v19-20 we hear about the greatness of God’s plan for their child and how he is going to choose Abraham and his offspring to establish kings, provide land, and create nations. Then in chapter 21v1-3 we see the promise finally fulfilled, and God’s salvation plan kicks into gear here on Earth.
The plan to rescue and redeem his people through the line of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob. The plan to make his presence known among his people from generation to generation. The plan to send his son down at the first Christmas to live as a man, allow people to hear the message of salvation, and to die on a cross to fulfil that promise. The promise for Abraham and the promise of Christmas both mean the same thing for us. That we are able to be brought into God’s family through his choosing of us to be his children, descendants of Abraham, and through being redeemed by the perfect life and death of his son.
The classic Christian tune of ‘Father Abraham Had Many Sons’, as well as being a great sing-a-long, is also an incredible reminder of our place within this promise as fellow descendants from the line of God’s chosen people, “I am one of them and so are you, so let’s all praise the Lord”
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