For the past three years our family has done something called a Jesse Tree for the Advent season. Each year progresses a little more in tradition and activity.
Why I thought of this particular "activity" to bring the story of Abraham and Isaac to life I don't know. It probably won't be a part of our annual tradition, but perhaps it put some emotion behind the oh so familiar stories for the kids.
Anyone who knows my kids knows that they are hopelessly attached to a certain puppy and hippo. You could say, from the perspective of their little minds, that they love them like sons.
With this love in mind, after we read the story of the long awaited Isaac, I asked them what they would do if they had to give up something that they loved...say...puppy or Augustine... if God asked them. It was a certain "yes" until I told them that I might ask them to do that. To give up their beloved animals. (yes...I can feel your "she's so mean" thoughts)
Well, I had intended to draw out the sacrificial thoughts until the next night when we learned about the ram who took Isaac's place, but I could see after only 30 min of the thoughts that it would be a very long day. I got the lesson over with...telling them that I wanted to take their animals and asking them to obey and trust me. OH THE TEARS! But they both obediently (and yet with distress) handed them over. I was then able to share the saving grace of an ending and there was much joy and dancing.
I must admit that I had a tear in my eye watching the drama and wished I could relent. Love, sacrifice and trust...these lessons in life will never ever end.
I have a feeling that they will never look at this story the same again.