Further reflections on Abraham and Isaac
The attached piece comes from Andrea Polvino, seminarian at Bexley Hall Episcopal Seminary in Rochester (upstate New York).
2 Lent Year B
Here is a thought sent by the Rev. Julie Christian:
I too have pondered the meaning of the story, because on the surface it seems like such a horrific image of God.
I’ve come to believe that even more than ending human sacrifice, there may be more to the story. We see all too often children reach that age of striving for independence from the family and its traditions, faith and otherwise. They stop coming to church, and too often never return.
Isaac grew up accepting his father’s leadership, his father’s version of faith and trust in God. But the promise between God and Abraham, the covenant was his father’s, not his. Now he was reaching an age of adulthood, the time to separate himself from his authority and assert himself as a man. One concern of Abraham’s and/or God’s would be the possible rejection of his father’s faith in favor of one of the competing versions. How is Isaac to develop the same abiding trust and faith that led Abraham and Sarah halfway across the (known) world? If my father, whom I trusted with my life, were about to kill me, and God intervened and saved me, I think I’d have an immediate and full faith in my father’s God that I had never had before! The covenant is renewed with each generation and it seems to me, this may have been a dramatic demonstration of the covenant for Isaac’s sake.
I offer this as a both/and option because I agree that ending human sacrifice was an important part of God’s purpose.
Thank you both Andrea and Julie for sharing your reflections with us. DJ