Posts Tagged 'esau'

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.

For Sunday, July 10, 2011: Year A

THE READING    Genesis 25:19-34

The book of Genesis is the book of the beginnings of God’s people. In our reading from Genesis last week, Rebekah courageously left home to meet her destiny. This week, we learn that things haven’t gone according to plan. It’s taken twenty years for Rebekah to conceive Isaac’s heir—and then the pregnancy is awful, with twin boys who are contentious from before birth. Esau, the older one, grows into a fierce outdoorsman with no impulse control, while Jacob can charitably be described as a congenital conniver. That God should nevertheless have great good in store for Jacob suggests that there’s hope for the rest of us anyway.

THE EPISTLE    Romans 8:1-11

Paul’s letter to the church at Rome amounts to a short course in theology. Last week we heard Paul lament our existential quandary: we cannot possibly hope to save ourselves. In today’s reading, however, Paul tells us what our hope is: it is God’s grace that allows us to live according to God’s Spirit.

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