Editor’s note: What follows is a supplement for teachers of Courageous Churches, the newest online curriculum from Acacia Resources. Each Friday, curriculum editor Jan Turrentine will offer relevant tips for the next lesson in the series. Today’s tips bolster the first lesson, “Abram: The Courage to Follow a New Vision.”

Face it: Adults gathering for Bible study Sunday morning will have images in their minds and opinions on their lips about war. Discussing Abram and his courage in following a new vision may be a challenge. But it’s not impossible.

Instead of avoiding references to the current global conflict and its aftermath, allow Genesis 12 to illuminate the situation. Consider these connections:

·  Like Abram who left everything familiar to go to the new land God promised him, we too are headed for unknown destinations in terms of international diplomacy and relations. We don’t really know where we’re going, how this is going to end or when. We don’t know all the implications for the Christian church and missions.

·  We, like Abram, have God’s promise. God loves us, Americans and Iraqis, Christians and Muslims, all people. God wants us all to have a future. We won’t see it if we allow fear to paralyze us. We can be courageous not because of who we are but because of who God is.

·  Abram didn’t reach his new land by standing still. God required that he demonstrate his faith by taking action. God can lead us to new places of global understanding and cooperation, but we’ve got to take some steps too. Long before the bombs stop falling in Iraq and the rebuilding there begins, we should work on building some bridges here in America between Christians and Muslims, Christians and Jews, Christians and Hindus. Even as war rages, we can display peace and offer community. Like Abram, we’ve got to get out and meet our neighbors. We’ll find them down the street as well as around the world.

·  God expected Abram to sever some ties and break with some traditions. God may ask the same of us individually and as the church. The God of new opportunities will show us which of our old and ineffective traditions to release.

·  Abram’s journey took him to a new world and a new relationship with God. Our reluctant journey of war and the anticipated march toward peace will lead us to a new world too, one requiring a new way of living obediently to God. We don’t yet know what all that means, but Abram discovered it, and so can we.

Jan Turrentine is associate director for Acacia Resources.

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