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Thursday, July 31, 2014
The liturgical calendar calls for Christians to look at the tale of Jacob this Sunday. Since I will not be among you this weekend, I will touch upon it here.

The story takes so many twists and turns, I will not attempt to describe them all. Jacob dupes his father and brother into giving Jacob what is not rightfully his—a birthright. As a result he has to leave in order to evade the wrath of his brother, Esau, who was supposed to receive this honor.

Jacob himself is duped into working for his father-in-law long after it is necessary in order to receive property he desires (including women). He finally has to escape his father-in-law in order to relinquish the faulty relationship. He decides it’s time (he’s much older and richer by this time) to make amends with his brother Esau. On his way to his homeland, he has a dream that he battles with God—and wins. God gives him the name Israel, “the one who struggles with God.” He reconciles with his brother and remains in his homeland, witnessing the death of his father and the birth of his last child, Benjamin.

This is the Reader’s Digest Condensed version of Jacob’s story. I’m leaving out a lot. It’s a soap opera. Much drama follows Jacob around, all started because he wanted to get what he wanted by deceit. Yet, at the end, God shows Jacob that he can continue to turn his life into an example of living with God righteously. Jacob takes this faith and rights a wrong towards the end of his life.

I am reminded by this story how God works in our lives. God never throws us out of God’s Kingdom forever. We can still do wrong, meaning something that harms another. Somehow, God can still see our struggle and find a way to help us feel forgiven so that we can go forward and do right by God’s goodness. This is one viewpoint. What is yours? Take some time and sit with the wisdom from this age old story.

Peace to you.


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Kairos-Milwaukie UCC Blog

Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary by Rev. Rick Skidmore and Rev. Jim Ogden.

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