This week we continue on in the Narrative Lectionary and move into a key event with the family of Abraham, Father of our faith and of God’s chosen people. God chose this one man and his household to be the focus of God’s blessing and even of God’s discipline. This story today is a disturbing story of a threat to what seemed like a done deal: God’s promise fulfilled. Abraham had a son who had been promised to he and his wife Sarah for years in their old age after years of waiting for a family. And all of a sudden, Abraham hears God asking him to do an impossible thing: to sacrifice this child and let him go. How do we handle such calls to sacrifice? How can we discern when it God calling us as opposed to other voices from our world and our culture?
In acknowledgement of our Jewish brothers and sisters who just celebrated their high holidays, I highly recommend you learning more about this powerful story that we share with them (which they call the akedah) through a resource created by many of their wonderful leaders. It is called The Akedah Project and shows many commentaries and sermons on this complicated story at the root of our faith.