READINGOld Testament: Wisdom 1:16-2:1, 12-22, Genesis 22:1-14
Psalms: Psalms 95, 22
New Testament: 1 Peter 1:10-20
Gospel: John 13:36-38, John 19:38-42
Evening Psalms: Psalms 40:1-19, 54
“Some time later God tested Abraham…God said,
‘Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah.
Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.’”
February 9, 1984, three hours after my second son was born, my wife and I heard someone frantically running down the hall. Rushing into our room, the doctor shouted, “we’ve lost your son five times to Cardiac Arrest – I need to get back to him, but you need to know we found him blue.”
Next thing we were told, which immediately turned us to prayer, was that our new baby son needed last rites. At that moment, I could only think of Abraham taking his son to the mountain for a sacrifice. In our prayer I said, “Do what You need to do, and I’ll learn how to live with the rest.” This was so much bigger than me. I could only trust God. I prayed for intervention by Him, but we could only sit back and trust Him.
What followed was a series of seemingly inexplicable coincidences, countless prayers from relatives and friends, and a 30 minute ambulance ride to a Neonatal ICU facility where my son somehow ‘came back’ after yet another heart attack. While my son was kept alive by a specialist squeezing oxygen from a rubber bulb through a small catheter into his lungs, I called my uncle, a renowned pediatrician. Astonishingly, my infant son’s specialist had been my uncle’s student at Columbia, and so he readily listened as my uncle advised that penicillin be given for ten days not five (the practice at the time) because some tests showed positive after six, and relapse would certainly be fatal. My son’s was positive at six – so continuing the penicillin worked! Two weeks of ‘touch and go,’ out of the incubator, and then home. To this day, my son continues to be alive and well.
One day, thirty years later, as I challenged myself on the meaning of the tag-line, “To Know and Share God’s Love,” it finally hit me. God didn’t only save my son, just as He didn’t only save Abraham’s son. By sacrificing His only Son on Good Friday, God saved us all from a very crushing loss.
We know His love, and I am so honored to share His love with you. Amen.