Reflections: March 1, 2021
Monday of the Second Week of Lent
By Aaron Fenker
"Your name, Jacob, will not be said any more, but Israel." (Genesis 32:29)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Jacob was a sinner. Not a little sinner, but big sinner. He didn't treat Esau with love, stealing both his inheritance (birthright) and his father Isaac's blessing. Jacob ended up with two wives and two concubines, causing no end of fighting in his household. He recognized that Leah was the wife of promise, the one through whom the Savior would be born. He stole from his father-in-law. He was an all-around sinner.
"Jacob"--"heel grabber," supplanter, thief, sinner. That was Jacob to a T. Jacob's history isn't one to necessarily follow. Jacob's history isn't a moral tale, but rather a preaching about how the LORD does one thing: He keeps His promise to save sinners.
For that Jacob needs a new name. "Israel," "Wrestles with God." That's what Jacob did. He fought, stole, and manipulated everyone around him, too. But with God all He was looking for was a blessing, salvation, forgiveness. "I will not let you go unless you bless me." A bigger sinner needs and desires above all else even bigger forgiveness. That's the gift the LORD really wants to give.
"In you all nations of the earth will be blessed." That's a Savior Promise for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Savior Promise kept through them. Jesus born--"son of Jacob, Isaac, Abraham" (Luke 3:34). Savior Promise for you, too! Jesus, born to save His people--all are His people--from their sins. For "heel grabbers" (sinners) His heels were pierced; His hands and side were, too. He shed His blood and died for you.
There's a new name for you, too. Baptized into Jesus. You are His. Just as He was with Jacob wherever Jacob went, so also, "I will be with you always." You shall be brought to the eternal Peniel, where you will see your God Jesus face to face, in His Kingdom, where He rules and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever FOR YOU. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Lord, when Your glory I shall see And taste Your kingdom's pleasure, Your blood my royal robe shall be, My joy beyond all measure! When I appear before Your throne, Your righteousness shall be my crown; With these I need not hide me. And there, in garments richly wrought, As Your own bride shall we be brought To stand in joy beside You. ("A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth," LSB 438, st.4)
-Rev. Aaron T. Fenker is the pastor of Bethlehem and Immanuel Lutheran churches in Bremen, KS.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
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