//
you're reading...
Ministry, The Church being Born

Jacob: The Trickster

Jacob is a loveable trickster: a character we often identify with–the loveable thief, the passionate adulterer, the rogue hero.

One who gets his inheritance by tricking his dying father to giving his blessing (i.e. will) to him instead of Esau.

He is even named as a rogue–as heel grabber is the translation of Jacob

you know the whole pull yourself up by your bootstrap culture in America? Jacob did the opposite, he pulled himself up from someone else’s bootstrap (heel). This ability, no doubt like all talents is a gift and a curse (as Adrian Monk would say). Every piece blessing is a gift, and a curse. For example, I am an extrovert, most of the time it is great, except when it isn’tūüôā If I don’t extrovert enough during the week, I am in sore danger of extrovertly exploding over people.

Gifts are meant to be used, when you write or sing or extrovert, its both a duty and a joy. You don’t do it for recognition, you do it because you have to. In that way it can be a blessing…and a curse.

Jacob has stolen Esau’s inheritance…last week our lectionary covered the¬†Abrahamic Blessing¬†the promise to father a nation and spread the blessing through it…when Jacob took this blessing he did not know that this blessing carried with it more than wealth. This is a blessing to be used…or its a curse.

Why do we love rogues anyway, what is it that makes them so fun? There is something about a rogue that means, just because they don’t follow the rules doesn’t mean they don’t have a heart. These are the human wish for redemption, our ongoing story for hope…

So, here is Jacob, on the run from his brother Esau who at best will be really, really mad for Jacob stealing his inheritance, and at worst is out for blood. He is out in another country, in the middle of the desert when he dreams…

He dreams of Angels. Angels who (we know) are not Precious moments cutesy babies, but are something scary to behold. They are going up and they are coming down, they are in-between, in short they are everywhere. This must have been scary enough.

Then God¬†stands next to him¬†(that must have been terrifying) and says I am the Lord of your forefathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac” remember, this is Jacob who just took all of his father’s blessing, so when God says he is Isaac’s God, it carries much weight! Then God promises that Jacob will father nations, that his descendants will own the land and that they will spread like dust North, South, East and West. God promises “All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you¬†and will watch over you¬†wherever you go,¬†and I will bring you back to this land.¬†I will not leave you¬†until I have done what I have promised you.‚ÄĚ”

What does Jacob take out of this conversation? That its too much? Does he see God’s promise as a threat (you WILL father nations) of responsibilities? Does he refuse to hear what it is that God is saying?

No

Jacob says…probably in a quiet voice of wonderment “I didn’t know God was here.” He didn’t know that God was with him. He didn’t know that God sought and found him, that God was his keeper. Jacob ought to be the last candidate for God to be with, tricking his way into inheritance, but yet, God was still within him. He didn’t know. He thought he had to be right, and brave and good for God to love him.

I didn’t know God was here…There are many places where we don’t know God is present.

1 in 10 people have mental illness, 1 in 10 struggles with addiction, 1 in 5 women have been sexually abused, and more than that have been victims of abuse. If we needed to be “whole” for God to be found, then about half of us would be statistically disqualified (actually that’s fuzzy math, but you get the idea)… For those who are Spiritual but not Religious, they might say¬†I didn’t know God was here¬†feeling that we make impossible requirements for answers and perfection.

….But we know our God is not a fixing God though. God does not simply take us apart and put us back together as new people. Our God is a creating and blessing God, working with what he made, as it exists in the world. God is present where we are, improving on what God has given us as gifts and blessings. Identifying who we are in one word, and blessing us with the next. God is like a “strengths-based counselor” building on who we are and what we do, so that we might become a better version of ourselves. Building off Jacob’s trickster nature and naming him as God’s own in order to make Jacob wonderful….

Church should be a place to do this, a place for broken rogues, tricksters and scoundrels, a place of hope. It should be a place where we all don’t know that God could be here. A place where we welcome people who know nothing, after all we know nothing too. God tends to show up in the ways we least expect it (in tricksters, in a women, in a stable, on the cross)…we could all know nothing together.

After All…

God could be found here too.

About katyandtheword

Pastor Katy has enjoyed ministry at New Covenant for 6 years, where the church has solidified its community focus. Prior to that she studied both Theology and Christian Formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. She also served as an Assistant Chaplain at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital and as the Christian Educational Coordinator at Bethany Presbyterian at Bloomfield, NJ. She enjoys working within and connecting to the community, is known to laugh a lot during service, and tells as many stories as possible. Pastor Katy loves reading Science Fiction and Fantasy, theater, arts and crafts, music, playing with children and sunshine, and continues to try to be as (w)holistically Christian as possible. "Publisher after publisher turned down A Wrinkle in Time," L'Engle wrote, "because it deals overtly with the problem of evil, and it was too difficult for children, and was it a children's or an adult's book, anyhow?" The next year it won the prestigious John Newbery Medal. Tolkien states in the foreword to The Lord of the Rings that he disliked allegories and that the story was not one.[66] Instead he preferred what he termed "applicability", the freedom of the reader to interpret the work in the light of his or her own life and times. "Hallows, not Horcruxes" Harry Potter

Discussion

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Moses– still a human being…. | katyandtheword - September 30, 2013

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 838 other followers

Archives

RevGalBlogPals

RevGalBlogPals
10am Worship @NCPC

Won't You Be Our Neighbor

Martha Spong

Writer, Pastor, Coach

r e F o c u s

a ministry for transition

Attila Ovari

Loving Life and Inspiring Others

Church Set Free

Love is the answer - now what's your question?

Living Contemplatively

Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation

PNEUMYTHOLOGY

ROBERT LAMBERT JONES III

A Spirit Filled Life

Seeing the Sacred in the Everyday

Improvisations

thinking outloud online

G-Free Rev

Knittin' and Preachin'

Infinite Windows

Meditations on faith and art

This Everyday Holy

Ordinary Living in the Lectionary

The Ninth Life

It's time to be inspired, become encouraged, and get uplifted!

Wonderings of aSacredRebel

Thoughts from aSacredRebel following the SacredRebel

Glass Overflowing

The place where Marci blogs about God's abundance.

SOULa Scriptura

To Be Young, Gifted, and Reformed

%d bloggers like this: