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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

Count the stars

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.” But the word of the Lord came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.” He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness. ~ Genesis 15:1-6

One of the first things I remember as a kid as far as the news went, was when the US, Egypt, and Israel signed Camp David Accords in 1978.

Then, two years ago this month, the US, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates signed what was called the Abrahamic Accords.

And finally, just last month, movement continued as the Biden Administration moved forward with a concept called the Indo-Abrahamic Alliance, which continues a path toward foreign relations between Israel and some of the countries of the Arab world (and also India).

Whatever our thoughts about each of these movements, we have only to look at this text to see their genesis (pun intended)!

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all trace their faith heritage to one man: Abraham. They all affirm that God's promise to Abraham has indeed come to pass: his descendants have indeed been as numerous as the stars.

But as often happens with siblings, it hasn't been an easy relationship. In fact, for most of history, it has been a tragic one.

What would it be like if we all remembered that we are born of Abraham's promise?

What would it be like if we each counted each other as a inheritors of that promise?

What would it be like if we saw each other as kin?

Lord, help me to see all of your children counted among the stars. Amen

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