Occasionally, we will reprint prior devotions that now reflect on the coming lectionary texts. This is a reprint from a devotion originally published on July 22, 2014.
Prayer: Help us to love you more, God. Amen.
Reading: Genesis 29:15-28 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: Jacob apparently fell in love the moment he saw Rachel. But, it wasn’t as simple as that. Jacob worked two 7-year stints for Laban, Rachel’s father so he would give Jacob permission to marry Rachel. After the first 7-year stint he got tricked into marrying Leah, Rachel’s older sister. The older sister had to be married before the younger one. See what I mean about it wasn’t a simple matter? Any how. Jacob really loved Rachel and worked 14 years for the privilege of marrying her. That’s doing a lot for love.
What do we do for love? For God’s love? Keep the commandments? Work at being perfect? Go to church regularly? Give lots of money to charity? Work hard to have enough faith to believe? Maybe even pray “the believers prayer” so God knows we are serious? And after all that and maybe much more there is this:
(A)ll have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3)
If Laban had followed this rule, he would have graciously given Rachel to Jacob the moment he asked. That’s the way it is with God’s love. It is a gift that we don’t and can’t earn. God just loves us. That part is pretty simple.
So, let’s revise the thought for today. Now that you know that God loves you, what will you do? That part isn’t too simple. But, we can start with the reassurance that God does, indeed, love us. --Jim Bricker
Anyone is welcome to contribute! If you'd like to write for us, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Get our daily devotions delivered to your e-mail box each day by signing up below: