can I live the life of faith?
offering yourself to God. Ideally we do this day by day. But
sometimes we can't. Sometimes it is just too difficult or we
are too distracted by all that is going on around us. At those
times, we ask God to be patient with us until we can get back
to offering ourselves to God.
have a good friend who is a monk at a monastery in the middle
of a large city. One day a woman was walking by the monastery.
The monastery is enclosed so that all one sees is the chapel
and a fence that separates the monastery from the outside world.
On this day the woman saw my friend sweeping the steps of the
chapel. She stopped and said, "You know, I have lived in
this part of the city for years and have passed by this monastery
for years, and I have always wondered about it." Pointing
toward the cloistered buildings, she asked, "What is it
that you all do in there?" He looked at her with the kind
eyes that he has and said, "We fall down and we get up."
is what the life of faith is about. We offer ourselves to God,
for the glory of God. And we fall down and we get up.
Reverend John B. Fritschner
and lots of people hate the story of Abraham taking his son Isaac
up Mt. Moriah to kill him at God’s request. It seems cruel
and nasty of God, and it’s hard to imagine how Abraham could
have thought of complying with the request, even though God stops
him before the deed is actually done.
is a story from about 2000 BC that was passed down orally for centuries,
and I think the original hearers heard different things. The purpose
of telling this story is to show the incredible faith of Israel’s
founding father. It’s a story that speaks of a test by God,
which should clue us in that God never had Isaac’s death in
mind. This is a test of Abraham’s faith.
easy to get caught up in debating whether God should be doing such
testing, but I think those discussions are missing the real truth
in the story. This is a story of what it
means to be completely faithful. It justifies God’s
selection of Abraham as the person to take the word of God out to
all nations, and his faith is touted throughout the millennia that
puts God first…above everything else. We saw that he put God
above himself when God first asks him to leave home and go to an
unknown land. This is the ultimate test. Will
Abraham put God’s desires before his only son?
It’s not just a question of a father’s love for his
son. Isaac is more than that. Isaac represents the promise of God
to bless Abraham and to bless all the nations of the earth through
him. Could he give that up? If he can, God can use him.
question the story asks of us is, “What would stand in the
way of my obedience to God’s commands?”
Rev. Anne Robertson