Pentecost +6 – Year A
More with the divisions between us being stronger than what holds us together. The power of the blood tribe is "strong", just like the state of the nation. Embarrassment at not being first, when all the promises and work were mine, is also strong. It doesn't take much for us to feel that we are underappreciated and protection of our perception is certainly worth a life or two.
As we travel along we keep forgetting it is the second kid, the last kid, that seems to have a line of the future running through them. Second-born Isaac remains second born and a line for the Hebrew/Jewish tradition to follow.
It will be important to follow all of the Ishmael/Isaac encounters to catch a glimpse of reconciliation and working together at Abraham's death and to take their respective honored places when generational leadership came to them.
So who is the good and the bad here? Sarah protecting her own and giving up another? Abraham giving a skin of water, so little against a large desert? Hagar for lifting a voice in weeping even if departing without a confrontation? Unnamed Ishmael another nimrod who anticipates Jacob's teasing? Isaac so young, so symbolic?
Of these six archetypes, which most closely approximates your past? your present? your desire? Note that each is a mixed bag and so this question is not about ideals on one side, but the mixture of motives and actions that is you.