Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
July 2nd, 2009

Susan Tinley

School of Nursing
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Thursday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Genesis 22:1b-19
Psalm 115:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9
Matthew 9:1-8

Today’s reading from Genesis raises many questions: How can a merciful, all-loving God ask Abraham to kill Isaac? How can Abraham trust in a God who asks him to murder his son? What was Isaac’s understanding of his father’s actions and how would Isaac ever trust him in the future? There are so many things wrong with this story, how do we derive any benefit from reading it? Does the story from Genesis serve as a foretelling that God will sacrifice his own son to redeem us from our sins? Do we tend to take the New Testament sacrifice more in stride since we know the outcome in Jesus’ resurrection?

This reading raises a bucket full of questions for me, all of which can lead into lengthy wanderings for my mind. I think the most difficult for me is related to Abraham’s trust in God. My initial reaction is to hope that if God made such a request of me, I would dismiss it as a nightmare or wonder about my sanity and assume it was a hallucination. However, there is also a message of Abraham’s total trust that God will take care of everything and make it all right. How and where in my life can I apply that message?  For me personally being an accomplished worrier there is much to be learned. Rather than wasting my time stewing, it would be far better to deal with the things that I can do something about - and turn the rest over to God. This reminds me of the well known Serenity Prayer. As I did some searching into the origin of this prayer, I came across a version that is even more pertinent to our reading from Genesis:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
               Reinhold Niebuhr

May we live each day trusting that God is with us – since He is.

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.
Let Your Friends Know About This Reflection By Sending Them An E-mail


Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook