Making a Great Nation

From this Sunday’s reading from Genesis, God says to Abram,

“I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.”

I have always loved this image and these words spoken by God to Abram.  They are simple.  They are straight forward.  They are words of fidelity and of promise.  They are words that only God could speak, because they are words that only God could accomplish.

Think about this for a moment:  The septuagenarian man and woman who are barren and childless, but faithful and righteous before God, are told that they will have as many offspring as there are grains of sand on the beach or stars that fill the night sky.


A whole nation will come from this one righteous man.  He will be so blessed, SO blessed, that his very name will be used as a blessing to others and he himself–his very being will become a living blessing.  This is right after God tells Abram to go and leave behind his country, his family, and all that meant safety and security.

I think we have a difficult time getting our minds around the concept of blessed.  But this is not a treatise on that topic, however, I will say that if we examine our lives we will find where we have received the loving touch of God, and in return, where we have been that love for others.  I’ll wager that in most instances the blessing we have received has come in some small action, some small gift that had a ripple effect in our lives.  And, that when we have been made an instrument of God’s blessing for another it most likely has been in that same manner.

What’s hard is perceiving when we’ve received that blessing from God and when we ourselves have been that blessing for another.  What counts is what we do with the blessings we have received.   For Abram that meant continuing to obey God, and believing that God would fulfill God’s promise, EVEN when that meant packing up all he had and leaving for some unknown, not-yet-revealed location.

Where have you received a blessing from God?  Where have you been that blessing that God has bestowed upon another?  Where is God leading you and what will your answer be when God says, “Go?”

In Christ’s name,



About matthewhanisian

Associate Rector at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C.
This entry was posted in The Rev. Matthew R. Hanisian. Bookmark the permalink.

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