The Jacob story has lingered throughout the day and the notion of blessing has been in my head. (Before I press on though, I want to assure you that Ms. Till was real. I do admit that I have parabolic tendencies and at times that warrants a challenge or two for clarification. However, this time Ms. Till was not a character in a parable. She was a very memorable Sunday school teacher who helped me grow in faithfulness.)
In the story, when Jacob encountered God he received a blessing and that blessing changed him. As Jacob wrestled, he tells God that he will not let go unless he receives a blessing. So God blesses him and changes his name from Jacob to Israel, meaning “one who prevails with God.” After this blessing Jacob was changed. He was different and it showed in his new gate.
What I’ve been tarrying with is the thought that whenever or however God comes to you there will be a blessing and you will be changed. When God comes in a moment, in a green flash, in a tormented voice, in a sense of peace that passes all understanding, in whatever form or how ever God uniquely appears to you or for you there will be a blessing and it will change you.
I know that it’s pretty simple sounding but just as God gave Jacob a special blessing, for not letting the strange man go, we also receive a special blessing when we hold on to God. We encourage you to ask for the blessing and don’t let go of what you know to be true in your life – who you know is present with you now and always. Hold firmly on to God and receive a blessing.
Scripture Reading: Genesis 32:27-30
“So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then the man said, “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.”
What is the story behind you being named?
What does a blessing look like to you?
Where have you seen the “face of God”?
Holy God, as I wrestle with the tensions and trauma of today give me the needed strength to hold on to you. Help me to always look for your face in everyone I see and let that be my blessing. Amen.
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