Year C: Second Sunday of Lent
First Reading: Genesis 15: 5-12, 17-18
The First Reading is also an encounter with God - and a conversation that does not make sense.
Abram is taken outside and shown the stars. He is told that his descendants will be as numerous - beyond counting. As he has no children - and his wife, Sara is too old to bear children - this takes some believing but, we are told, Abram puts his faith in God
He asks God for a sign that he will inherit the land. God asks him for a sacrifice. The “deep sleep” is preparing Abram for the divine presence which passes between the two halves of the animals.
This apparently was a ritual of the time - the people entering covenant walking between the two halves as if to invoke the same death for themselves should they break the covenant.
It seems strange to us - but the important thing to remember is that it is a sign of God’s promise to Abram in a way that Abram and his people would understand. It also shows the lengths God will go to to prove His love
What does it mean for me?