I am looking at the texts this week and I am drawn to the story of Issac’s sacrifice. I am not quiet sure why. Looking at some lectionary blogs there seems like there are a couple of choices. 1) run away from the text kicking and screaming and preach Matthew. 2) Take a deep look at the importance of this scripture preach it anyway (to a small crowd anyway because it is the Sunday before the 4th and everyone is out of town).
I have never preached on this text and since I like a challenge I’m going for it. Here are some reflections I am pulling out of the text as my sermon begins to form.
- Abraham says, “Here I am” three times in this text; once to God, once to Isaac and once to the angel.
- God and the angel both claim that Isaac is Abraham’s only son…wait…what about Ishmael? This is Abraham’s only son with Sarah…maybe that is what God is talking about. Plus Hagar and Ishmael are sent away by now and thus Isaac is now the only son around.
- I have heard sermon’s from Abraham perspective and Isaac’s. Yet, what is God’s perspective? (I may be slipping into heresy but it this has been a thought in my head for a while) Did God look at Abraham and think that this son, this only son, will be able to make things right in the world. Is Issac being set up to be the perfect sacrifice to make amends for original sin? While Abraham is blindly follows God’s degree is God trying to come up with some other way to handle this situation? What if this is what God is thinking…”the only way things will ever be right is through an ultimate sacrifice. The ultimate sacrifice is one of a father giving up his only son. There is nothing higher. Abraham is a great person and I am proud he has such strong faith in me. I’m going to ask him to sacrifice his beloved son to ease the pain of humanity. I’m going to have him make everything right. Then my covenant will be fulfilled, his ancestors will be greater than the stars because they will come through Isaac to get to me…wait…this isn’t right. It shouldn’t be Abraham who sacrifices his son it should be me…I love the world so much that I should send my only son.