16th August 2020

The Roots of Promise 

“And the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day.”
Genesis 18:1 (ESV) 

By the Oaks of Mamre is the famous site where Abraham had his bizarre meeting with the three strangers, and when God promised him a child. Today there is a site near there with an ancient tree that some believe to be this very tree itself. Estimated to be about 5,000 years old, it has been a location for religious pilgrims for centuries. It has also been a flash point in politics and geography, and disputed by historians as to its authenticity. It has also been exploited for gain by the surrounding merchants and villages.

So, is it the tree where Abraham and Sarah languished, waiting for God’s promise? Maybe, maybe not. One thing we can learn from this is that our faith is rooted in history. Biblical history is not an abstract group of timeless ideas, but a story carved out in a very human world. A world that eventually Jesus came to—to live in a working-class family on the not-so-great side of town.

As the old, gnarled roots of this tree reach into the ground, so the roots of our faith reach into flesh-and-blood history. God himself entered our history with all its political rivalries and squabbles and exploitation and selfishness. As the tree has weathered thousands of storms and seasons, so has the church. Pressure from without and within, and has somehow managed to continue to stand—by God’s sheer grace. God in Christ entered our ridiculous world and risked misunderstanding, misrepresentation, misuse, and finally death itself. He knew our response to him would be woefully imperfect, and yet still he came.

Jesus Christ broke history. He broke the endless cycle of offense and revenge and instead brought us forgiveness, grace, and love. He knew what lay ahead, yet he walked in because he loves to love. Like this old tree, older than any of us, God’s love for you is tough, strong, real and—despite everything—still standing. That is his promise. 

Mighty Father, help us to live today like Jesus did back then. To live as children of the God who broke into the world in real time and said “I will redeem all of this.” It is a powerful story and example to us all. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Presented by Greg Williams


About the Presenter:
The Day by Day each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life,’ (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International. Greg Williams is President of Grace Communion International and lives in North Carolina, USA.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland.  For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Email:  admin@daybyday.org.uk

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