Our morning scripture reading will be Genesis 29:31-30:24. In reflecting on the household of Jacob, with all of its issues, I was struck by this commentator's summary of the situation:
“It is into this most bitterly divided family that the forefathers of the twelve tribes were born. Fathered by a lying trickster and mothered by sharp-tongued shrews, the patriarchs grew up to be less than perfect themselves. Yet through them the promises to Abraham took a great step toward their fulfillment, showing that it is divine grace not human merit that gives mankind hope of salvation.” (Gordon Wenham, Genesis, 2.250)
It's good to be reminded of this again so that we would come to see more clearly the path of the Christ-child and the truth of Hebrews 2:17 would be made manifest: "Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted."
Our afternoon scripture reading will be John 6:35-59 & 7:32-39. For centuries, the Christian church has had to wrestle with the meaning of Jesus' declaration that we are made partakers of His body and blood through faith in Him and fellowship in the Holy Spirit. There's a richness to this theme of Scripture that should move us to greater devotion and meditation on the wonders of His incarnation to save sinners and His resurrection to new life. He is the firstfruits and we shall be made like Him in glory. What a wonder!