Genesis is filled with origin stories. Deeply rooted in those stories are experiences as old as time and brand new with each generation. While the earliest stories focus on creation, the twelfth chapter begins a long series of family dramas. It begins with Abraham and Sarah and God’s promise to bless them and make a nation of people from their love and relationship. Things took a long time. Abraham and Sarah did not have children and Sarah takes matters into her own hands and offers her servant Hagar as a surrogate to Abraham. Ishmael is born. Later, Sarah becomes pregnant and Isaac is born.
Isaac and his wife Rebekah also struggle to conceive. When she does, she gives birth to twins: Esau and Jacob. Jacob, the second twin, is born “grasping” Esau’s heel, hence the name Jacob which means: the one who supplants, undermines, the heel. It is not a very positive name, although it is accurate for this Jacob.
The story of Jacob illustrates sibling rivalry, parental favorites, doing what it takes to come out on top, and ultimately fractured relationships healed. In the end, Jacob has a reckoning with God and he is never the same. His name is changed to Israel, which means: the one who wrestles with God, and/or May God prevail.
Every part of this family drama can been seen in the 21st century in families of all kinds. Perhaps, Covid-19 has brought some of these dynamics into the forefront in your home. During this series we will dig into not only the biblical narrative and teachings about humanity, but how our families form us, shape us and teach us about who we are, what the world is like, and how God can intersect in our lives.
July 12, 2020
“Sibling Rivalry, Part I”
Romans 7: 15-25a, Genesis 25: 19-34
July 19, 2020
“Sibling Rivalry, Part II”
Genesis 27: 1-45, Romans 8: 1-11
July 26, 2020
“On the Run”
Genesis 28: 10-22, Romans 8: 12-25
August 2, 2020
Genesis 29: 15-30, Romans 8: 26-39
August 9, 2020
“Sibling Rivalry, Part III: Past Meets Present”
Genesis: 29: 31- 30: 24, Romans 9: 1-5
August 16, 2020
“Learning and Setting Boundaries”
Genesis 31: 1-55, Romans 9: 6-16
August 23, 2020
“Bargaining and Naming, Facing the Past”
Readings: Genesis 32: 1-32, Romans 9: 17-23
August 30, 2020
Genesis 33: 1-11, Romans 9: 24-32