The Old Testament lesson for this Sunday is Genesis 15:1-6. ‘I am your shield and great reward” God tells Abraham. I love that image and the promise of descendants like the sand at the seashore and stars in the sky. All to bring into the world His one and only Son to be the Savior and the seed that blesses the nations. I wrote this a long time ago for a Christmas CD.
The promise made to Abraham is a marvelous gift that we should meditate on and consider. The Gospel is promise. Preaching the Gospel is preaching a promise. Believing the promise is salvation. Believing the promise is faith. The promise is delivered by preaching the word. Oswald Beyer has written that “if the word becomes an appeal, faith becomes comes its performance in action. If the word becomes a demonstration, faith becomes insight; if it becomes a statement, faith becomes knowledge. Finally, if the word becomes an expression, faith becomes a ground of existence or a ground of experience given the human being as such. Only if the word is promise is faith really faith.”