What’s the point?

12 May

Good morning,

Today scripture reading is a long one.  It is the attempted sacrifice of Issac by his father, Abraham.  Probably you know the story of Abraham’s and Sarah’s inability to conceive children, then Issac comes as a surprise in their old age, then God sets the scene for Issac’s ritual sacrifice.  It seems as though these beginning stories of faith really want us to know that God is the author of the chosen people.  It is God choice that these people continue to exist through the line of Abraham to Issac.

For me this text contains an “ah ha” moment.  I came to faith in a conservative theological community.  There was a belief that God knew my entire life, knew everything.  Being a contrary kind of person, this did not set well with me.  Later when I really started to think about the nature of God this omnipotent concept of all power really didn’t make any sense.   So, when I saw the line that the angel says to Abraham as he attempts to kill his son, ” for now I know that you fear God” it was a real ‘ah ha’.  It is the idea of God discovering who we are as we do.  It is an idea that God truly honors our choices and know us because of them.  It is the idea that life is not predetermined, but God is an actor along side of us that shapes each moment as we move into the future.

Many people have written more profound commentaries on this text, but that is mine.  Many people really hate this text because that think it is terrible that God would demand sacrifice (which in fact God didn’t); yet, having raised two boys through teen years and early 20s, I understand.

Tuesday: The example of Abraham   Genesis22:1-19

After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you.” Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac said to his father Abraham, “Father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.

When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.14 So Abraham called that place “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, 16 and said, “By myself I have sworn, says the Lord: Because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will indeed bless you, and I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of their enemies,18 and by your offspring shall all the nations of the earth gain blessing for themselves, because you have obeyed my voice.” 19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beer-sheba; and Abraham lived at Beer-sheba.

I believe God waits for our willing submission.  Not to make us feel like dirt, but so God can be a part of our lives, our decisions, our journey.  It truly is such peace to let go of all the world’s expectations, and internal dialogue, and personal need for fulfillment; to just relax into the arms of God and a child of the Divine.  To just humbly come to God for all things is a wonderful, peaceful, joy.    Peace

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One Response to “What’s the point?”

  1. Nicole Alvarez May 12, 2015 at 1:38 pm #

    Our thoughts are aligned here. I have always thought that since God is “I AM” He is there always in whatever decision we make. God doesn’t force our ways. He has given us free will to choose. He would be there even if Abraham had not chosen to sacrifice…we just wouldn’t know who Abraham was. God would have used someone else to further
    His plans. Who knows? Maybe there was someone before Abraham who didn’t choose obedience!

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