Okay. For today’s texts there are a couple of clear options.
1) Ignore the text from Genesis. Shove it under the rug. Forget it exists. Talk about Matthew and hospitality. Love that Gospel and forget everything else.
2) Deal with Genesis head on. Talk about this Horrible. Horrible. Horrible text in which Abraham almost kills Isaac. When I preach on this passage I can literally see parents who have had to deal with the death of a child shrinking and shivering in their seats.
I don’t have any textual basis for it, but when I preach on this passage from Genesis, I tell people that the only way I can live with it is to think that Abraham didn’t really hear the voice of God. He was hearing other voices, and it wasn’t God until the very end when Isaac is saved.
Or maybe it was a test- God kept hoping Abraham would stand up and refuse to kill, and when Abraham blindly followed, God had no choice but to step in and save him from himself.
No textual basis. I know I’m on less-than-thin ice, it’s just the only way I can wrap my mind around what happens.
So. Those are the two options I see.
What about you?