Today is a big day. It is the 173rd Anniversary service at church and we have been planning it for a few months. There will be a Gospel Trio to provide music, strawberries, shortcake and ice cream and it will all take place on the church lawn under two large tents. What a great opportunity to share in God's creation and enjoy the summer weather.
Funny that the signature piece that brought my attention to the Trio is called, "I'll meet you on the mountain" so I chose to make that the theme of the worship. This past week I went to the lectionary and the scripture is Genesis 22:1-14 the story of Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac. Not a pretty piece of scripture for an anniversary service, or is it? What more glory and passion can we take from a father who trusts in God so deeply that he will do the unthinkable. Sacrifice his own son. Is your faith that deep? I likely could honestly say no, but then again I have the witness of the sacrifice of my own son. It was a few years ago when my boy was on the street, struggling with life out west. I had given all could give. I had no money left and he was still in the gutter. In the golden land of plenty, oil country, where if you trip over a rock you have a job. Where you could change jobs as often as you changed your underwear, he was claiming he could not find work. Was he on drugs? I suspected so. After trying an intervention and flying out to "save" him I returned realizing he was his own worst enemy. It was then that I gave my son over to God. I tried to sacrifice him on that mountain I took him up and layed him on the alter and gave him over to God. My heart was breaking and I was in the depths of despair, but God said, "Do not lay a hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me" (v.12) God saved my boy. God brought him back to life, on the mountain that day. But I had to trust enough to take him there. It was my trust in God that saved the boys life.
I pulled a book off my shelf this week and tossed it on the table thinking I would get around to reading it. I had pulled it from a rack at the thrift store just because it spoke to me. It is called "Into Thin Air". So this morning I looked at it a little closer to begin reading it and it is "a personal account of the Mt. Everest Disaster". How fitting on this mountain top Sunday. How fitting that God has put this in my hands on the day I am taking the people to the mountaintop to face their own fear of God and asking themselves, "how much do I trust?" How fitting that I am experiencing my own mountaintop experience.
Do I trust God? You bet I do. I have had enough mountaintop experiences to know that God will always save us, but it is only in the moment of fully trusting do we see God's face and hear God's voice. As long as we hold on at all God may remain silent and let us kill our only son.
Trust, my friends, fully trust in God!
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