Bringing the Text to Life

Abram and Lucy Genesis 12:1-4a

Abram and Lucy

Our common spiritual ancestor has a lot to teach us.

At a Glance

Many paleontologists believe that the remains of a female found in Africa signify a common ancestor for human beings. They gave her the name Lucy. Today's OT reading introduces us to a spiritual ancestor who is shared by the world's three major religions. In studying his life, we find much that will enlighten our lives today.

Editors' Pick

For material based on today's gospel text, see "What Is a Second Life?" June 7, 2009, at

"As I looked up the slopes to my left, I

saw bits of the skull, a chunk of jaw, a couple of vertebrae."

Who would make such a grisly remark? A police investigator searching for a murder victim? A first responder excavating human remains at Ground Zero? A grave-robber?

Wrong on all counts. And it's not as grisly as you may think. The human remains this man is describing are 3.2 million years old.

The words were spoken by Donald Johanson, a paleoanthropologist who one day in 1974 was digging in a remote spot in the Ethiopian...

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