Day 7 – September 11, 2023: Genesis 21-24, John 12-13

The birth of Isaac marks a pivotal moment in the nation of Israel’s history. That moment is almost taken away as Abraham follow’s God’s command to sacrifice him as a test of his faithfulness. Abraham passes the test. Where else in Scripture do we read about a Fathe who is willing to sacrifice his son? The sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross which results in the salvation of all humanity, finds its earliest example in Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice. The Old Testament is hard to read. There is so much killing which seems indiscriminate. God chooses whom he wants and the rest have a pretty difficult, if not impossible, hill to climb. But why do we insist on creating God in our image, in an image that we would want God to be like? Can’t God be kinder, gentler, more compassionate? He is, but in this setting in the Old Testament God is seen and revealed as something that we simply don’t like. But in the end, that is our problem, we can’t understand why God would need to be an Old Testament God. I’m okay in not knowing why.

When we jump to John we see Jesus enter triumphantly into Jerusalem and the crowds following him primarily because he raised Lazarus from the dead. I just noticed that the religious leaders conspire to kill Lazarus because he was the reason the people were going crazy for Jesus. But we have to rest a little bit of time on the washing of the feet. When we talk about sacraments we have a clear definition as to what we believe sacraments are. Literally the word means a holy act. We believe that they are things that we should do because Jesus commanded us to do them. We baptize because Jesus commanded us to baptize in Matthew 28. We take part in the Lord’s Supper because Jesus commanded us to do that in Matthew, Mark, Luke and in I Corinthians 11.

These are the only two sacraments that we recognize as Protestants. But doesn’t Jesus command us to wash each other’s feet. I know gross, but is that any more gross than eating someone’s body and drinking his blood? It is sad to me that the logistics and the practicality of washing feet has gotten in the way of some really good theology on why we ougth to wash one another’s feet. It serves to show us how we are servants one to each other, just as God has made us.

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