Season: Of Creation
Scripture: Genesis 13:1-18
Sermon: Walk lightly on me (or, who will inherit the earth?)
Abraham is the father of Jews, Christians and Muslims; we look to him for some sense of our spiritual DNA.
Abraham has begun to live towards the promise of a land God will give, and of a people who will come from him to bless the Earth. By the time of this story he has made a few mistakes along the way, and learned from them. I like the way he is said in v. 3 to journey with God "by stages" (as we all do) and that after a misbegotten trip into Egypt, he returns "to the place where his tent had been at the beginning," where he remembered earlier making a covenant with God (as we all must).
Lot is his nephew, a generation younger and still needing to learn from, and be humbled by his own mistakes.
In this story, Abraham and Lot realize that together they and their households are too many for the land to support, and increasingly they are in each other's way. So how will they co-habit the land they are about to move into?
Does it sound like today? Too many and too much for the land to support? Different households, tribes, and races getting in each other's way and fighting each other for what they need, and what they have reason to believe is given to them by God? An economy that threatens to undo the well-being of the land, and that is pitted against the well-being of plants and animals that also claim it as their necessary home.
Our spiritual father says, "Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herders and my herders, for we are kindred?"
But what does this mean? How far does "kindred" identity extend in our day? And how do we live out a no-strife policy with those we see as kindred in the world God has given?
Are we a lot like Lot, still needing to learn from our mistakes? Dare we hope that over the long haul, Abraham's spiritual DNA shows through?