Our Scripture reading, this morning, is in Genesis 22 "Sometime later, God tested Abraham's faith." (verse 1 New Living Translation) Yup, it is the start of the story of taking Isaac up on the mountain which is the part of the story we usually focus on. Today, though, I would like us to think about how Abraham responds. Abraham has complete faith in God. He passes the test with flying colors! He does what God asks, when God asks, in the way God asks him to. He believes (remember last week) in God and how God keeps God's promises. Not only doe Abraham believe it - Abraham demonstrates his faith to Isaac.
Jesus is telling us the same thing, this morning, in the Gospel reading. In John 6 Jesus is reminding us he IS the "bread of life" -- Emmanuel, God with us. Yes, Jesus is referring to eternal life but He is also reminding us God is with us. Jesus has already pointed out "man does not live by bread alone" (Matthew 4:4) and the importance of God's Word. In this part of the Gospel of John Jesus is answering questions and encouraging the belief, faith, in the "bread of heaven."
Which brings us back to testing........ Do we remember all the strength we've gotten as we "face our giants"? Do we remember to look at the whole picture, know what we can do and ask for help when needed, to strengthen our relationship with God -- what we've talked about this summer? Do we really believe the tomb was empty and God IS with us? Can we, like Abraham, pass the test and take the step forward? Interesting thoughts to be working on as summer comes to an end and we move into a new school year.