Special note - Today the blog is geared toward children as it was my congregation's annual Easter Egg hunt Sunday, but the words are relevant to everyone.
Today I’m going to tell you the story of Esau and Jacob. Jacob and Esau were twin brothers. That means, their mommy, Rebekah, had them almost at the same time, one right after the other! But these twins didn’t look alike! Esau had big hairy arms and Jacob didn’t. They didn’t act alike either. Esau liked to hunt wild animals. Then he’d bring what he’d hunted to his daddy Isaac to eat. Isaac loved it! He was always telling Esau how great he was. But Jacob didn’t like to hunt. He liked to cook with his mommy in the kitchen. So, he hardly ever heard his daddy, Isaac say good words to him. That made Jacob very sad.
As Jacob and Esau grew up, the day came for their daddy, who had become very old, to deliver a blessing, super-special good words to the oldest child. Since Esau was the oldest, he alone would get these extra special good words. That made Jacob very sad because daddy Isaac hardly ever said good words to him.
So, Jacob and his mommy came up with a crazy plan. They would steal the blessing from Esau. They could do it because daddy Isaac could hardly see at all. Jacob made a big plate of all the food his daddy liked. He dressed in Esau's clothes Then, he put a piece of fur on his arm. And he went in to see daddy Isaac. Jacob said. “Daddy, it’s Esau. I’ve come for my blessing, my good words! I’ve even brought you your favorite foods that I hunted for you.” But Isaac was puzzled. He said. “You don’t sound like Esau, but when I touch your arm, you feel like Esau. So, I guess you are.” Daddy Isaac gave Jacob the special blessing. He spoke good words over Jacob, and Jacob felt so good.
But the good feeling didn’t last. When Esau came and found out that Jacob had tricked daddy Isaac out of his blessing, he got so angry. He got so angry that Jacob had to run far away to live with his cousins. And Jacob never saw his mommy and daddy again. But still, God watched over Jacob. God gave him a big and beautiful family. And he and his brother, Esau eventually made up and became friends again.
But why did Jacob do it? Why did he trick his father? He had to know that was not a good thing, that his father would find out, and he would get in big trouble. Jacob did it because everybody needs a blessing. Everybody needs someone, even a bunch of someone’s to say good things over them.
That’s why years later, after God had changed Jacob's name to Israel, God gave the words linked below to be the last thing the children of Israel heard when they gathered to worship God. God wanted them to hear a blessing, a good word. For that’s what a blessing is. It’s a good word. And here is that good word from Numbers 6:22-27
When God made the world, that’s what he said, again and again, literally good words. He said. It’s good!! Now God already knew it was good. After all, God made it, and everything God makes is good. No, God was saying, how happy all that goodness made him. Like today at the picnic. You might eat some of the treats in those Easter eggs, and say. Mmmmm, that’s good!
And when God sees you, that’s what God does. God goes. Ooooo, you are looking good! God says a good word over you. But God does more. God also says. I will do all I can to keep your goodness going, to make your good better and better and better. That what it means when it says God is blessing you and keeping you.
And everyone needs good words said over them. That’s why we’ve given everyone this bookmark for something called Faith 5. For on this bookmark, it reminds folks to bless one another and to help others bless them too. That means every day, you take a moment to say good words to people in your life, your children, your spouse, your brothers and sisters, your friends. It’s important that we say good words over each other. If I say, I’m good or smart or wonderful, it feels ok. But when you hear someone else say that to you, it feels awesome.
Everyone needs good words said over them, especially kids, but also even my cat. When my cat gets hungry, I feed him. But do you know what he does then? He keeps meowing at me. He wants to sit on my lap and have me pet him behind his ears and scratch him under his chin. He loves that! Then he looks up at me, and he’s so happy.
That’s why in the blessing, it tells you that God will shine his face upon you. Sure, you need God’s hand to help you, to feed you, to watch over you. But even more, you need to see God’s face, to feel God’s delight in you, to know how much God loves you. We need that from one another too. We need hugs and kisses. We need to hear words of love. We need good words spoken over us.
And God so wanted to show us God’s face that you know what God did? God came in Jesus and God became one of us. So, he could eat with us, and laugh with us, and hold us in his lap just like that picture here.
In a few weeks, we’ll remember that Jesus loved us so much, he did something amazing. He gave us the greatest gift ever, so we could see God’s face forever. And Jesus did it just because he loved us so much. That was the best blessing ever!
So, say good words over each other. Moms and dads, say good words over your children. Say good words over your spouses and family members. And above all hear the amazingly beautiful good words of love that God is saying to you every moment. And remember in Jesus, those words became real like never before. Because they did, you have God’s face forever. All you need to do is but turn and look and receive it, receive the gracious, good word God has paid everything for you to hear. And when you hear that it brings you something amazing. It brings you what the Bible calls, shalom. Shalom means joy, happiness, peace, a life, whole and complete.
So, The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine on you, and be gracious to you; The Lord turn his face toward and give you shalom. Amen