Commemoration of Abraham, the Patriarch and Father of Many Nations

Abraham (known early in his life as Abram) was called by God to become the father of a great nation (Genesis 12). At the age of 75 and in obedience to God’s command, he, his wife Sarah, and his nephew Lot moved southwest from the town of Haran to the land of Canaan. There God established a covenant with Abraham (15:18), promising the land of Canaan to his descendants. At the age of 100 Abraham and Sarah were finally blessed with Isaac, the son long promised to them by God. Abraham demonstrated supreme obedience when God commanded him to offer Isaac as a burnt offering. God spared the young man’s life only at the last moment and provided a ram as a substitute offering (22:1–19). Abraham died at the age of 175 and was buried in the Cave of Machpelah, which he had purchased earlier as a burial site for Sarah. He is especially honored as the first of the three great Old Testament Patriarchs—and for his “righteousness before God through faith” (Romans 4:1–12).

Taken from Commemoration Biographies, found in the Lutheran Service Book and here:

One of my favorite stories of Abram involves the King of Salem, Melchizidek, Priest of the Most High God.  Abram’s nephew, Lot, was captured when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah were defeated in battle by their rivals.  In an act that foreshadows redemption in the law of Israel, Abram pursued the kings and defeated them, rescuing his nephew Lot, family, and possessions, and all the other people and possessions that were taken in the battle.  On the way back from the battle, Abram is met by the King of Salem, Melchizidek, and by the king of Sodom.  Melchizidek brings out bread and wine, and blesses Abram:  “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”

Interestingly, the City of Salem is later known as the City of Jerusalem.  God pours out his blessing upon Abram in the sacrament of Holy Communion, through the Priest of the Most High God.  Jesus is said to be a priest in the Order of Melchizidek by the author of Hebrews.


Posted on October 8, 2010, in Commemoration of Saints and Church Figures, The Church Year. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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