March 8, 2009: 2nd Sunday of Lent
God tested Abraham. God said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains. (Genesis 22:1-2)
If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
Jesus took Peter, James and John, and led them up a high mountain. … he was transfigured before them … As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man (Jesus) had risen from the dead. … They kept this to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean. (Mark 9:2, 9-10)
Numerous questions come up in today’s Scripture passages. Why would God ever ask a father to sacrifice his only child? Who can be against us if God is for us? What does it mean to rise from the dead? There isn’t enough space here to answer each of these well. We know that God never desired human sacrifice or animal sacrifice, for that matter. However, it took human beings a long time to come to this realization. The well-known story of the Transfiguration of Jesus on a mountain (he suddenly emanated radiance) is a foreshadowing of his resurrection following his death on the cross. What does resurrection look like? We don’t know a whole lot about it since it is a mystery. During the Easter season there will be Gospel stories about the resurrected Jesus. Then we’ll share some thoughts about resurrected life. One thing is for sure; with God on our side all will be well.
We are starting the second week of Lent. What are you doing by way of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving? What does God want from you this Lent? It’s never too late to begin!