God established His alliance with Abraham and promised a wonderful future. Abraham’s faith in that future makes him our father in faith. He willingly left behind everything that was familiar to him, in order to obey God.
Abraham rejoiced to see the day of Christ. The Messiah fulfilled the promises God had made so many centuries before.
So: On the one hand, Abraham’s all-consuming faith, which freed him to pursue the mysterious future God had prepared. On the other hand, the reward of that faith.
Now, what is it? The reward of faith? What can we call it, other than life? The day of Christ = the day of Life. Not toilsome life as we know it now—ephemeral, fleeting, dangerous, burdened by one anxious care after another. No. The life of Christ crucified and risen is life liberated from all these diminishments. Life primordial; life full of promise; endlessly youthful life.
Which brings us to: the youthful spokespeople for this Saturday’s “March for Our Lives.” They paint an evocative picture in their speeches. Where would the lost friends and classmates be now, had they lived?
The students killed in Florida last month would be preparing for mid-term exams. The little children killed in Connecticut in 2012 would be in middle-school. The high-schoolers killed in Colorado back in 1999 would be parents themselves, with their own children in elementary or middle school.
Life. A future. Doesn’t it seem utterly obvious that this March-for-Our-Lives rhetoric could also take into account the other young victims of unjust violence—the little ones who never lived to see the light of day at all?
I myself am just old enough not to have to number the classmates and confreres that I might have had. I was already 1½ by the time Roe v. Wade came down.
But everyone younger than me has to live with the Roe-v.-Wade ghosts. The victims of violence who might have been childhood friends, or co-workers in the first job, or the Mr. or Mrs. Right that you could never find.
Christ came to reward faith with life. Our Gospel is the Gospel of Life. Can’t we imagine a better day, if all the true advocates of life could unite? If we could stand up together for all the innocent victims of violence that could have–and should have–lived to see the sun rise this morning?