The trouble with some self-made people is that they worship their creator.
--Bits & Pieces, October 1989, p. 9.
Genesis 33 1-11
33 And Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two female servants. 2 And he put the servants with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. 3 He himself went on before them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother. 4 But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. 5 And when Esau lifted up his eyes and saw the women and children, he said, “Who are these with you?” Jacob said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” 6 Then the servants drew near, they and their children, and bowed down. 7 Leah likewise and her children drew near and bowed down. And last Joseph and Rachel drew near, and they bowed down. 8 Esau said, “What do you mean by all this company that I met?” Jacob answered, “To find favor in the sight of my lord.” 9 But Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.” 10 Jacob said, “No, please, if I have found favor in your sight, then accept my present from my hand. For I have seen your face, which is like seeing the face of God, and you have accepted me. 11 Please accept my blessing that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.” Thus he urged him, and he took it.
The story of Jacob and Esau shows us that sibling rivalry can sometimes reach devastating heights but their story also shows us that reconciliation can reach even further. If anyone ever had a good reason to hold a grudge it might be Esau. Jacob had cheated Esau out of his birthright and the blessing of inheritance. Esau was so angered by this that he vowed to take Jacob’s life as soon as their father Isaac died.
Jacob takes his brother’s vow very seriously and flees for his life. Years later, Jacob and Esau have both married and had children. The two estranged brothers meet up. However, as Jacob travels closer and closer to his brother, he sends messengers and extravagant gifts ahead of him, hoping to pacify his brother. But he need not have worried. As Jacob bowed before his brother, “Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.” Jacob responded, “To see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably.”
Jacob was able to see the face of God through the forgiveness of Esau. This power can only be something supernatural. It is in the place of reconciliation that we see what is truly valuable in our lives.
In our lives, we will fail to live in harmony with everyone. This is why we need to be people who know the power of reconciliation. We will offend others, even if we do so unintentionally. And others will offend us. We will have disagreements and arguments. We will anger others and be angry at others. However, when we reconcile with our sisters and brothers after being divided, we see God’s face, because God’s heart beats with reconciliation.
Come, Holy Spirit, show me how to reconcile with those I am at odds with. Grant me the power to share the reconciliation found in Christ with the world. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.