Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Akedah: A Vigniette

Since reading through Abraham's almost-sacrifice of his son Isaac in our 4-year Sunday-school cycle (that's how we Mormons do it) the story has been bouncing around in my head. There are lots of ways to look at the story, all of them disturbing. Here's a friend's take. Mine isn't as well thought out, just a take on the scene that occurred to me lately and that I can't quite shake. First you should understand two things: 1-In Mormonism God has parts and passions. God is The God Who Weeps, who gets angry, who feels sorrow and joy; 2-Human destiny is to become a god--to (if we live worthy) eventually do for some new world all that God does for this world. With that, here's my story.

Just after the angel has stopped Abraham from slitting Isaac's throat I see God reaching down from Heaven, grabbing Abraham by the shoulders and shaking him violently. "Do you see, Abraham!?" He yells in his face. "Do you see what it is to be Eternal!? This is godhood, Abraham! Sacrificing your Son is...well, there's not going to be an angel to jump in and stop it. For me the thing gets carried through!" Abraham tries to hide his eyes, but God gets down in his face, seeks out his eyes. "You think you want to know what Priesthood is? You think you want Exaltation?" Now His voice becomes low, gravelly, dark. "You don't know anything about it!" God releases Abraham, casting him aside. Abraham crumples into a heap of heaving shoulders and wiry, snarled, tear soaked beard. "Go sacrifice your ram." God storms off back to Heaven. A ram is heard bleating from a thicket. A very shaky Abraham and a shocked and numbed Isaac go mechanically through the motions of making the burnt offering: checking for blemishes; carefully collecting the blood; skinning and parting out the corpse; laying it in order on the alter; watching it all go up in flames. The smoke rises to Heaven: a reminder, not to man, but to God of what awaits.


Genevieve Kelley said...

Woah. "Like" is not the right word here, but I really *felt* this post.

Jamie said...

Thanks, Genevieve!


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