Meditation Genesis 23


Genesis 23: Abraham buys a burial site in Canaan.
Genesis 24: Abraham sends his servant to get a wife for Isaac from Ur of the Chaldeans.

I have switched my "Interpretation Lens:"

My old lens:
I would look for biblical principles in a passage. This was my traditional way of reading the bible: I never paid much attention to chapter 23, and in chapter 24 I would look for biblical principles on how to choose a wife. But why all the detail in chapter 23? (as well as chapter 24)

My new lens:
Understand the story. Forget about "biblical principles" and look at what's happening. Lots of detail means the story has great significance.

Abraham was a migrant. He came from Ur of the Chaldeans. In Canaan, he was a foreigner.
Buying a cave for a burial site means he’s establishing roots in Canaan. The idea of remaining where your ancestors are buried. He's obeying God's command to go to a new country and stay there. Yet…
Getting a wife for his son from his home country and relatives means he wants to keep his family tradition and values.

We work with the Quichua who are migrating to the cities. They are torn between lands and values. They move to the city and begin to establish roots, but, for the first couple of generations, they remain connected to their rural communities. They return every year during Carnival for a big family (and community) reunion, and many return there for their marriage ceremony. (I haven't seen yet if they return to be buried in their community cemeteries, but it wouldn't surprise me.)

The Gordon family has migrated from Scotland to New England, then to DC and Brasil, and yet the cemetery in Hazardville gives us a place and a way to connect with our ancestors. Although they have passed on, they are still a part of us and we a part of them. Soon, we too will pass on and leave our legacies to the next generation.

Hebrews 12:1 "since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses… let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us"

Photos of Gordon Generations