Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Wisdom from the Hebrew Scriptures: A Multigenerational Program

Activity 5: Discussion - Option 1

Activity time: 25 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers, and tape

Preparation for Activity

  • Write these questions on newsprint and post:
    • Why is this story preserved?
    • What were they trying to teach with this story?
    • What is it that we can learn?

Description of Activity

Invite participants to discuss the questions posted on newsprint. Use some of these questions to provoke, guide or further the discussion, as needed:

  • What is God like in this story?
  • Is there a single picture of God?
  • Did God have a change of mind or heart?
  • How is this God different from or the same as the God in the story of Hagar and Ishmael?
  • If we compare the stories of David and Goliath (Workshop 1), Ishmael, Hagar, and Isaac (Workshop 5), are there any observations we might make about what God thinks of children?
  • This story is a remnant of a time when child sacrifice was common in the Middle East. Why do you think it has been preserved in oral tradition and in scripture?
  • How do we valorize or honor the sacrifice of young people today?
  • In our own time, when do we view human life as less important than loyalty to an abstraction or cause?