Sunday’s first reading is Abraham’s almost sacrifice of Isaac, a matter-of-fact depiction of what is (literally) inches away from murder. It’s hard not to be shocked by it.
But our reaction can make it hard to see what’s happening. To see what Abraham is seeing.
The Old Testament is full of references to human sacrifice by various cultures, including Abraham’s.
Up to now, God has been acting like any other god with Abraham, doing everything Abraham would expect a god to do.
Demanding a human sacrifice? For Abraham, it’s not shocking. It’s just part of the package.
For Abraham, the shocking part is God not following through - not requiring human sacrifice.
In that moment, Abraham learns that he’s not dealing with just another god. Abraham gets a glimpse of who God really is.
And nothing will be the same.
More on this tomorrow.