August 23, 2021 – Genesis 28: 10-16 – Ordinary Beauty

Today we are reading from Genesis 28: 10-16:

10 Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. 11 He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. 12 And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And the Lord stood beside him and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring; 14 and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. 15 Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 16 Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!”

Today in our reading we see a passage that is often known as Jacob’s Ladder.  In this passage, Jacob is asleep and has this dream where he sees angels climbing up and down this ladder to heaven.  God reaffirms the covenant He made with Jacob’s grandfather Abraham, this land will be his descendants. They will be numerous and God will be with him.  He will not leave him.  Jacob awoke and knew that he was on holy ground. 

There are two things I really love about this story. First is what is involved.  Rocks. Ground.  Sleep.  Nothing fancy.  Just ordinary things. Jacob did nothing to invoke this vision and this blessing from God. But Jacob is sitting there, in the ordinary moments of life and God’s beauty and blessing erupt.  Jacob finds beauty in the ordinary.  Jacob is shown the power and beauty of God in this ordinary moment.  

The second is when this happens.  If you look in the chapter before this, Jacob is now on the run from his brother Essau, who seeks to kill him, after Jacob stole his blessing.  Jacob has had to leave family, friends, everything, out of fear for his life.  Because of what he has done. 

This may be the lowest moment of his life.  This may be the moment when he has felt furthest from God, from family, from everyone.  

And it was at that moment that God’s beauty, which can be found in the ordinary, invaded his life.  

Today, no matter what you are going through, God is there. God has not left you. God has not forsaken you. God has not withdrawn from you. God is there.  Keep your eyes open today for His ordinary beauty.  In the common and in the every day, we will find the presence and the power of God. Let’s look.  Let’s seek. And today, we will find.  

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