Observation: Jacob and Esau embrace one another as brothers, reconciling their differences of the past for the relationship of the present.
Application: When I served at Grace Chinese Lutheran Church in NYC, I had to get over myself when it came to the generosity of others. People wanted to give gifts of money, food, time, proximity, trinkets, etc. Attempting to be humble I would give the money back to the church, or find some way to try and deflect the generosity that was being shown to me. Pastor Abraham Lu taught me that this is insulting to the gift giver. Essentially, I was telling them that their gift was not good enough to be received by me.
Jacob reframes this for his brother Esau: "Please take this gift I have brought you, for God has been very gracious to me. I have more than enough.” And because Jacob insisted, Esau finally accepted the gift.
These gifts are a work toward reconciliation of their broken relationship as brothers.
The next time someone offers you a gift, think about what they are extending to you....money, food, time, proximity, trinkets.....or is it a way of healing brokenness between you? Could it be an extension of their generosity to pour out love upon you?
Jacob and Esau experienced the gift of reconciliation and a healing of their families.
Prayer: Lord, you gave us the greatest gift in Jesus Christ, through whom we experience reconciliation and healing, help us to be generous toward one another in our lives so that we might extend what you have given us....forgiveness, mercy, healing and grace.