Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Guts, Glory, and the sanctity of life

I've recently come to realize my distance.  Distance from God and others, perviously camouflaged by the business of school and work.  At some point, without careful observation, the complexities of life simply overcome our ability to remain quietly close to God.  And so I am brought back to sabbath.  Sabbath from school (though not learning).  Sabbath from major projects (only two biggies in the next month, not starting anything new).  Sabbath with my visitor.  I expect to ponder on the blog more often, especially since I have a pile of advanced reading books from Zondervan to review.

Thoughts on Genesis 18:  The three visitors.
Read this story in parallel with the beginning of Luke.  Perhaps Luke is ushering in a new covenant by referring back to this story (as well as Samuel and Exodus)?  This really deserves its own post, chapter, or book.  None of which will occur this morning.

At what point does Abe believe this is God?  Partway through the story, the reference simply changes from lord to LORD.  It must be after Abraham practices hospitality.  By honoring the visitors, valuing their life and need for rest, Abraham recognizes God in his presence.  When was the last time we viewed hospitality as a privilege rather than a chore?

Abraham gets gutsy near the end of the stay.  As he has built rapport with his visitors, he gets courage to stand up for the sanctity of life.  Sure he is to be commended for showing good ole fashioned chuzpah, but when we focus on his argument, we forget the point.  Abraham finds value in the lives of all those who live in the cities about to be destroyed.  That's why he barters with God.  He believes that all life is sacred.

This makes me wonder.  If life is so sacred, why do we justify protecting babies but neglect the lives of immigrants?  Why is it ever okay to condemn a person to death by injection?  Is there a such thing as just war?  The needs of the many may outweigh the needs of the few or the one, but if everything is sacred how can we draw a line?  50? 45? 40? 30? 20? 10?  That's the question Abraham asks.  And the answer is silence.


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