First Comes Faith

“Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”  — Paul, the apostle, writing to Christians in Rome

We know from a careful reading of the Old Testament that Abraham was not the only person in the world who believed in (or had faith in) the one God, the creator of the universe. Sometimes he’d run into someone during his journeys who was a believer.

But we have Abraham’s story. That’s because he was the father of three great religions who all worship the single God, not the usual gamut of pagan gods of their era or ours.

Abraham wasn’t called righteous by God because of any particular ritual that he did. Circumcision, the foundation of Jewish ritual, was not yet invented. There was no formal religion.

Abraham simply believed.

And he had faith that God would lead him to where he needed to go. God would protect Abraham. And God would provide a family for his legacy.

I like Paul. The more I study the more I get away from those superficial interpretations saying Paul hated groups of people. You can do all the thinking about theology and meanings of things you want, but Paul already in just the fourth chapter of his letter has told us many times–it’s all about having faith in God, faith in Jesus’ resurrection.

Ever wonder how Abraham came to that faith? Was he taught by his father or mother? Did it just come to him? Were there some teachers or gurus?

We’re not told. Maybe a good thing or we’d turn that into a ritual.

And what about us? Do we think that someone must act like us, agree with our politics, agree with our rituals before we’ll have anything to do with them?

Or, are we simply to believe? And then act where God calls us having the simple faith that God will take us where we need to go to do the right service at the time.

Why do we make things so complicated?

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