From Abram to Jesus to the inclusion of the Gentiles we are called into a story of utter dependence on God: trusting God to do for us what we would otherwise try to do for ourselves.
Genesis 12:1-4a Abram has to leave behind everything that should provide for him. God promises a blessing that is too big for Abram to control or contain.
Psalm 121 A psalm of trust in God’s holistic care. Where does our help come from? Are we willing to give ourselves to the God who made heaven and earth?
Romans 4:1-5, 13-17 The inclusion of the Gentiles means rereading the story of Abraham. Abraham is blessed through his trust. Abraham trusts the God whom Paul preaches: the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being what does not exist.
Matthew 17:1-9 Remember when Jesus refused to bite during those satanic temptations to explore what “son of God” might mean for him? God honors that trust, and will honor it again in Jesus’s resurrection.
John 3:1-17 Nicodemus gets Jesus talking. Dependence on God, trust in God, comes to its ultimate manifestation in the need to be born from above, by the Spirit, in order to see the Kingdom. Scary as that might be, it’s a stipulation held in the hands of the God who sent His Son into the world to save it, rather than condemn. This God can be trusted.
Books discussed this week: JRD Kirk, Unlocking Romans: Resurrection and the Justification of God.
Daniel Kirk is a writer, speaker, and blogger who lives in San Francisco, CA where he is currently Pastoral Director for the Newbigin House of Studies. His third book A Man Attested by God: the Human Jesus of the Synoptic Gospels, is hot off the presses. Daniel holds a Ph.D. in New Testament from Duke University and is the author of, Unlocking Romans: Resurrection and the Justification of God and Jesus Have I Loved, but Paul? He blogs regularly at StoriedTheology.com (http://patheos.com/blogs/storiedtheology). You can follow him on Twitter @jrdkirk and on Facebook at Facebook.com/jrdkirk.