Each week, the pastor who preaches posts a brief synopsis of the sermon for you to see the main points made during the sermon on Sunday morning.
September 24, 2017
I like my coffee. But is it good for me? One day I read about its health benefits; the next day I read about its negative aspects. I am confused, even though I continue to pound it down. We have a section of the Jacob story just after Jacob has cheated and lied his way into receiving his father’s birthright. Jacob steals it away from his older twin brother. And God still blesses him and grants him God’s promises. It is confusing.
Jacob is just one in a long list of scoundrels in the Bible whom God chooses to use to further God’s promises to God’s people. How can God be so gracious to people who seem to be just the opposite of how God calls us to live? It is confusing to say the least.
So then let me ask you this question — What are you ashamed of?
In the midst of my confusion I am reminded that I am just like Jacob. A sinful human being who could easily be included in this long list of scoundrels. And when confronted with my own sinfulness, my own failures, my own shortcomings, what does God do with Jacob? What does God do to us?
- God blesses him/us.
- God promises, “Know that I am God and I will keep you forever.”
So look to the cross where Jesus died. When Jesus died he did so with his arms wide open. Was it a sign of God in Jesus reading out to us scoundrels and hugging us into an embrace of grace?
Two week ago my mother had been rushed back to the hospital with bleeding on the brain — the result of another fall. Quality of life is now a serious issue. The Stoa family is wrestling with “what do we pray for?”. As I was thinking about my mother, a member of this church walked up and simply said, “You look like you could use a hug.” I was given a gift of grace. So figuratively or literally, I encourage you to walk to the cross and let Jesus the Christ embrace you with the gift of grace. Amen.