This year we’re reading through one of those ‘365 Bible story’ type books with our eldest – one story per day.  Recently we came across the story of Day 2’s reading, Genesis 25:27-34, and having two boys ourselves I wondered how no 1 was going to take the tale of Esau coming home ravenous from hunting and selling his birthright for a bowl of his younger brother’s stew.  In a five year old kind of way, I think he was intrigued by the tale of the two brothers often at each other’s throats but eventually being reconciled to each other.  Like Easu and Jacob, our boys are two very different characters, but we try our best to give them equal love and attention (though I think a bit of each of them would like to receive the 100% that an only child often can).  In our (at least in theory) egalitarian society the idea of one child inheriting the major share of the wealth and blessing from their parents chimes very dissonantly.  However, the remarkable transition in the New Testament is to a situation where ‘all are one in Christ’ and have an equal share as ‘brothers and sisters of Christ’.  In the CMS Forty Days of Yes resource, the Esau and Jacob reading is linked to Hebrews 12:16 – ‘see to it that no one is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son’.  Here, the inheritance are the blessings and grace that God offers, and we’re challenged to examine how we can sometimes be tempted to treat this inheritance, our status as loved children of God, lightly.  For me I think that temptation often comes in a tendency to define myself too much by my own measure of my achievements – when things go well and I find it easy to start congratulating myself on my brilliance.  When things go badly I wonder if I am even worth the space I am occupying.  But I have a strong hunch that if I could grasp what it means to be God’s child, in my heart as well as my head, and let that sink deep down, that all-too-familiar human see-sawing between pride and despair would probably be stilled, as I found a new strong centre to my being.

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