When Abraham went up the mountain, he brought with him his son Isaac. He was going to sacrifice that which was most important to him to God, it was a custom of the time. And in this journey he was open to God, and was able to see the ram stuck in the thicket. With his openness to a living God, one who can transcend our customs, our understandings and our traditions he was able to open the door of faith that led to three of the world's great religions.
I am aghast at the idea of sacrificing one's child. It seems barbaric and cruel, and obviously something from a primitive society. And yet, when I look at my own culture and society I see the same and we do nothing about it. Where are those in our midst open enough to God to see the ram in the thicket?
We live in a culture of violence, a culture so dedicated and in fear of the gun lobby, and laws that support violence, and products and entertainment that promotes violence, that we are more interested in preserving our culture and tradition and sacrificing our children's lives in order to preserve this culture of violence.
I can so easily judge Abraham as being barbaric to climb the mountain to sacrifice his son, and yet I am a part of a culture that does the same, again and again; and because it is done in a modern way it is seen as being all right.
It is not.