For Sunday, July 17, 2011: Year A

THE READING    Genesis 28:10-19a

Last week’s Old Testament reading ended with Jacob, second son of Isaac, refusing food to his older brother until Esau agreed to give up his birthright. Furthermore, as Isaac lay dying, Jacob and his mother conned Isaac into blessing Jacob as the first son. In today’s reading we find Jacob on the run from his angry brother, stopping for the night in a place so desolate that all he has for a pillow is a stone… and in that place this dubious character receives an astonishing dream.

THE EPISTLE    Romans 8:12-25

Jacob the clever ended up with more birthright than he had bargained for. Paul, in writing to the church in Rome, which included both Jews and former pagans, explains our birthright as adopted children of God: to share in Christ’s glory but also to share humbly in Christ’s suffering while we wait in hope for our redemption.

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