During some quiet time I remembered the teacher of my third grade Sunday school class. Her name was Ms. Till and I had not thought about her in at least 50 years. She was my Betty Busby or your Allison Vance – a kindly woman who never changed, with a beautiful spirit – who cared deeply for “her” kids. She taught us the stories in scripture. One of those stories was about Jacob’s very unique encounter with God. Ms. Till invited us to use our imagination. She wanted us to have an encounter with God.
I remember her saying that stories are stories and it is okay if they don’t line up. (She was pretty instrumental in teaching me about how to read our sacred text.) She taught me to listen to the narrative rather than merely reading the words.
In the story about Jacob she showed me that God didn’t come to him in the ordinary fashion like a distinct voice or visible sign – the usual way. Instead, God came to Jacob in the form of a strange man with whom Jacob then wrestles throughout the entire night. For some that stranger turns out to be God. To others, the stranger is an angel – a personal messenger from God. Regardless, through this encounter Jacob meets God. I think about the significance of this in our lives today. I believe that God deeply desires for us to be in a relationship with God. Here’s what I’ve been pondering. God comes to us in unique ways. Perhaps God is the original innovator.
Scripture Reading: Genesis 32:24-27
“Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.”
Who taught you the stories in scripture?
How has God come to you?
How is God blessing your life?
Holy God, keep me aware of when you come close and offer me a blessing. Help me to share with others what faithfulness means and how it impacts my everyday living. Amen.
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