Before and After

1 March 2021

Psalm 105:1–11, 37–45; Genesis 21:1–7; Hebrews 1:8–12

the wondrous works he has done…”

It would be nice to say that part of the culture and religious practices of the Jews made them different than . Christians don’t have that luxury. We are the spiritual descendants of Abraham. The wondrous works of God did not begin with the Cross, or even ‘ birth in the manger, they began with, “Let there light.”

Christianity, or perhaps we should say the Western European iteration of it (including the US and Canada), has broken much of that lineage. As the evangelical “discovers” church traditions such as , it is starting to a little bit about church history.

Most Western Christians probably know more about their respective country’s history (and other Western European countries’) history than they know of Christian history except for where the two crossed. The history of the church around the world is as varied as the nations and the peoples it has impacted.

All of history is filled with the “wondrous works he has done.” Too often, however, we think more about rather than God. We also forget that so many things (the sun rising, the full moon, the wind, our very breath) are wondrous things, no matter how small and simple they appear to be.

Isaac was Abraham’s and Sarah’s proof of God’s wondrous works (just as any child is). Sarah was held to account when she laughed when God’s messenger promised that Sarah would be pregnant. Abraham probably laughed when Sarah became pregnant and a son was born. Maybe, just maybe, they named Isaac (he laughed) because they thought God had “the last laugh.”

How we look to the past influences the future. As the author of Hebrews quoted from Psalms, God is everlasting. The author of Hebrews (I cannot wait to confirm who wrote it) affirms that God is everlasting. Long after our history disappears, God will be there. Yet, that doesn’t absolve us from continually remembering what God has done.


What has God been doing in your life recently? Are any doors closing? Are any doors opening?


Lord, we don’t know the future, and we are far too tied to the past we think we know, keeping the future bound to misunderstanding. Help us to open our eyes and to the future that you have for us while helping the past. Amen.