Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Genesis 32:22-31

Year A - Pentecost +8 or Community Practice 8
July 27, 2014

Into the midst of trepidation that all we knew was coming to an end, our past had caught up with us and there was to be no choosing of doors to escape, Jacob has a dream realer than real.

A wrestling ensues. The battle was lost with a broken hip and no way to leverage any foot upon a strong foundation. There was only limping around an altar of past success.

The contest had gone on long enough that evening was becoming morning. In the end there is an end to wrestling. In this end is neither victory nor defeat, but blessing.

We are renamed, reoriented, reanimated. Imagine what it would be like in your world if word finally came to you, “you have striven with G*D and Neighb*r, and have prevailed.”

In prevailing we, too, would want to know a name to rename. Though a name is not revealed here, Charles Wesley later penned a poem, “Wrestling Jacob”, turned into a hymn, “Come, O Thou Traveler Unknown” (386 and 387 in The United Methodist Hymnal of 1989). Here Charles’ conclusion is, “thy nature and thy name is Love.” Though not included in current versions of the hymn, the 14th and concluding stanza runs:

Lame as I am, I take the prey,
hell, earth, and sin with ease overcome;
I leap for joy, pursue my way,
and as a bounding hart fly home,
through all eternity to prove
thy nature, and thy name is Love.

A challenge to us in these days of discouragement of wars and rumors of war and great community splits happening and threatened, is to reveal in our life the nature and name of Love that will not let us go nor escape our grasp, even should the night darken or the morning come.

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You are encouraged to read Thy Nature & Thy Name Is Love: Wesleyan and Process Theologies in Dialogue, Edited by Bryan P. Stone & Thomas Jay Oord.

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