Tonight at Peakland UMC, we had Peakland AfterHours; an opportunity to gather for informal worship, communion and my favorite part…Disney/Pixar movies. The movie tonight was “Finding Nemo”, y’all, I forgot how much I enjoyed this movie. We only watched selected clips (but truth be told, I’m going to watch it one night this week). Our Scripture that we read and discussed was Genesis 22:1 – 18, which is about Abraham offering Isaac to God as an offering.
The text in Genesis is a hard one to read. Looking at it as someone’s child, what would I do, how would I react if my mum and I walked up to the lookout at Lovers Leap and then she bound me and prepared me as a burnt offering to God? As a parent, how would you feel, and what would you do if God told you to offer your only child as a sacrifice?
As I read through this text, and as we watched the clips from Finding Nemo, we came to this conclusion: trusting God is scary, but it brings us peace. Abraham was probably pacing back and forth, arguing with himself, hands up to the sky, crying out to God…but he did what he was called to do. He took his son, his only son, who had been prayed over, who had been dreamt of for so long, and he was going to offer him to God in an act of faithfulness.
That is a bold risk to take. To offer your all to God.
It requires a deep, intimate faith in the One who created all.
How do we live into a faith that deep? A faith so intimate that we are willing to sacrifice all in order to worship God?
It starts with prayer, and friends, remember that your prayers do not have to be lofty or full of words that you cannot pronounce. Meister Eckhart said “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough”.
It begins with you being yourself, being authentic to who you are. That is what God wants. We do not have to have instagram perfect lives, because that is not who we really are. Who you are at the end of the day, when the laundry isn’t finished and your hair is a mess – God wants all of that.
I do not always get it right, but I try. Often times it takes the words of a stranger, a friend, someone that you trust to give you that wake up call.
I have people that hold me accountable, much like Dory helped Marlin in Finding Nemo. While stuck in the mouth of the whale, Marlin asks Dory how she knows something bad isn’t going to happen and she tells him that she doesn’t know. Marlin, moved by her faith in the unknown, in the future, lets go. He takes a risk, and he trusts in what he cannot see.
This week, I’m going to take a lesson from Marlin: to be bold. To offer my all, and that is my prayer for you, too.