By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac. He who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only son, of whom he had been told, “It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named for you.” He considered the fact that God is able even to raise someone from the dead—and figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. By faith Isaac invoked blessings for the future on Jacob and Esau. By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, “bowing in worship over the top of his staff.” By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave instructions about his burial. – Hebrews 11:17-22 (NRSV)
God who tests faith,
How are we to bring our Isaac-offerings to you?
You have granted us seeds of promise-fulfillment;
Tiny spores of hope.
Where can we find courage
to bury them in dark earth?
They are all we have.
Yet after the freeze, delicate sprouts break hard ground.
Seeds of promise raise stems and open leaves,
Then our gardens are bursting with fruit.
God who raises the dead,
May we become wizened with age,
Bowing in worship over the tops of our staffs,
Speaking forth generations of faithful progeny:
Ours and yours.