I’d like to bring your attention to the first reading from the book of Genesis 22:1-2, 9A, 10-13, 15-18. Abraham is tested by God in a very unusual way. He is asked to sacrifice his only son to God by putting him to death. Remember Abraham asked God for children and was promised that he would have more descendants than the stars in the sky. Now God asks him to slaughter his son just as you would a lamb, goat or other animal.
Abraham does not show much emotion as he begins to carry out God’s wish. I’m sure his heart is breaking as he holds the knife above Isaac’s body. God quickly sends a messenger to Abraham not to go forward with the slaughter. Suddenly a ram struggling in the thicket of bushes not far from the site is offered to God in place of Isaac.
Abraham trusted in God even up to and including sacrificing his only son. Then God’s messenger speaks to Abraham once more telling him that because he was willing to follow God’s command, he will have “descendants as countless as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore.…in all your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing-all this because you will obey my command.”
I don’t think any of us will ever be asked to offer up our firstborn child to God. But we are asked to make sacrifices especially during this holy time of Lent. Many of us will give up chocolate or watching a special show we like or other things we enjoy which are good things. Perhaps along with that we could do something positive, for example bring food for our pantry or take the money we save by giving things up and give it to our church or a particular charity. How about trying to be kind to someone we really don’t like? How about doing more than one sacrifice this Lent?
Peace and All Good!