This week's Old Testament story is the account of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac. God stops him, and gives him a ram to sacrifice instead. Abraham had already experienced quite a few miracles up until this point, but I still wonder if he was surprised. Did he feel a weight of dread lift from his shoulders? Did he feel unburdened when he realized he no longer had to prove his obedience to God, that God was merciful?
Creator and Lover of our Souls, you have done a mighty work:
We are free, Hallelujah!
Sacrifice and burnt offerings you haven’t required of us (1)
We don’t have to save ourselves.
You claimed the burden of proof in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ:
We don’t have anything more to prove!
We were slaves to our material lives
Slaves to our reputations and success
Slaves to our own selfish limitations
Slaves to earning and hoarding
Slaves to fear and retaliation
Slaves to shame and darkness.
And now we are free, Hallelujah! (2)
Free to speak peace into being (3).
Free to bend swords into plowshares (4)
Free to offer mercy and serve grace.
Free to share generously from your abundance.
Free to embrace joy.
The mystery of your plan and the goodness of your heart
Are all that consumes us now.
We walk along, singing
Because you have dealt bountifully with us. (5)
1) Psalm 40:6
2) Romans 6:17,18
3) Jeremiah 28:9
4) Isaiah 2:4
5) Psalm 13:6