This being the first Sunday of the month we will celebrate the Sacrament of Communion.
The Scripture reading this week is: Genesis 32:22-30
The Sermon title is Struggling with God
Early Thoughts: Jacob was a visionary, a dreamer, the grandson of a pioneer, the father of a nation. He was also a jerk, a cheater, and a thief.
No wonder he had some wrestling to do before he went home.
Jacob is on his way home. He has sent all of his family and possessions ahead of him and stays alone in the wilderness. What better way to wrestle with one's life and demons?
Sometimes we need to put ourselves in the vulnerable position (such as being alone in the wilderness) in order to face up to life.
Jacob is told that he has "striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed". Jacob will live to a great old age, he will go to Egypt, his bones will be brought back. But only because he had the courage to strive with God and humans and, in my interpretation, himself.
Jacob was, at best, a highly unlikely hero. He tricked Esau into giving Jacob the birthright of the elder brother. He tricked Isaac into giving Jacob the blessing that was meant for the elder brother. He manipulated things so that he got the better part of his father-in-law's herds. When he took his family from his father-in-law's place they stole the household Gods. Later his obvious preference for one son will divide the family. He puts the "dys" into his dysfunctional family.
And yet the nation will be named after him. Because he has the courage to struggle, to wrestle, with the realities of his life.
What do we need to wrestle with so we can be who God calls us to be?