Daily Lectionary Readings for Year A
The morning has come after a long, sleepless night. Jacob has been restless and worrying about what will happen when he meets his brother Esau. Maybe you have been worrying, too. The anxiety can be intense in the midst of an unresolved conflict. Perhaps you have been thinking about someone or something that has caused you to dread a pending confrontation. Maybe you are absolutely sure how it will go when the day comes to meet face to face. Jacob was convinced his brother would kill him and destroy his family. But there was no turning back now. The day had finally come. With the sunrise this matter would be settled, one way or another.
To Jacob's utter amazement, Esau did not come to harm his brother. Instead, he hugged him and kissed him and wept upon his neck in joy of connecting again. I imagine you could have knocked Jacob over with a feather, he was so shocked. All of those years of worry. All of that time lost. For what? God had blessed Esau. He had moved past the anger of losing his inheritance long ago. All he wanted was to see his brother again. All he wanted to do was walk alongside Jacob and journey for a while.
Can you feel what Jacob might have felt? Relief, grace, reconnection. He took his family and his flock and allowed them to rest in a place he called Succoth. The Jewish Feast of the Tabernacle, or Succoth, is celebrated this year from October 2-9. Mayim Bialik, one of the stars of the television show The Big Bang Theory, explains the significance of these days. It is essential to remember the feeling of forgiveness and grace. God will see us through.