Throughout Lent, our weekly ePrayers include a special series of reflections on the upcoming Sunday readings. This reflection for the Second Sunday of Lent is from Mary Geisz, director of sponsor experience at Unbound.
Oh, to have the faith of Abraham! In the first reading for this Second Sunday of Lent, we revisit the familiar story of Abraham responding to God’s call to sacrifice his son. God put Abraham to the test and Abraham passed with flying colors, setting kind of a high bar for the rest of us.
This story is a difficult one for any parent to hear. We’ve likely all heard a parent say they’d sacrifice their own life to protect their child’s. I don’t recall ever hearing someone verbalize that they could do what Abraham was willing to do. Still, though the notion of sacrificing his beloved son must have been repugnant to Abraham, he only needed three words to respond: “Here I am!”
As the distressing and heart-wrenching global events roll from 2020 into 2021, I’ve heard folks attest to leaning on prayer and faith more purposefully, while others confess to feeling as though their faith is being tested. So many ask, “Why is this happening?” So many wonder, as surely Abraham must have, what is God’s plan?
The season of Lent helps remind us to be more prayerful in coping with life’s trials. In my own attempts at this, re-reading the letters from my Unbound sponsored friends in Kenya and the Philippines have spoken loudly. Faith is a constant. So is hope. And love. Every single letter begins or ends with prayerful words and wishes for blessings from God. The multiple global crises are undoubtedly felt far more severely for them, yet their faith remains undaunted, and it resonates.
I don’t expect to reach the bar set by Abraham, but the faith journey is a worthwhile one, indeed.
Loving God, as we journey through Lent in preparation for the celebration of Easter, help us pray so that we may keep our faith strong and grow in closeness to You. And help us to remember to heed your words: “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” (Mark 9:2-10).