Seventh Week After Epiphany, Monday, February 21, 2022
Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming, and with him were four hundred men. So Jacob divided his children among Leah, Rachel, and the two slave girls. Jacob put the slave girls with their children first, then Leah and her children behind them, and Rachel and Joseph last. Jacob himself went out in front of them and bowed down flat on the ground seven times as he was walking toward his brother.
But Esau ran to meet Jacob and put his arms around him and hugged him. Then Esau kissed him, and they both cried. When Esau looked up and saw the women and children, he asked, “Who are these people with you?”
Jacob answered, “These are the children God has given me. God has been good to me, your servant.”
Then the two slave girls and their children came up to Esau and bowed down flat on the earth before him. Leah and her children also came up to Esau and also bowed down flat on the earth. Last of all, Joseph and Rachel came up to Esau, and they, too, bowed down flat before him.
Esau said, “I saw many herds as I was coming here. Why did you bring them?”
Jacob answered, “They were to please you, my master.”
But Esau said, “I already have enough, my brother. Keep what you have.”
Jacob said, “No! Please! If I have pleased you, then accept the gift I give you. I am very happy to see your face again. It is like seeing the face of God, because you have accepted me. So I beg you to accept the gift I give you. God has been very good to me, and I have more than I need.” And because Jacob begged, Esau accepted the gift.
Then Esau said, “Let us be going. I will travel with you.”
But Jacob said to him, “My master, you know that the children are weak. And I must be careful with my flocks and their young ones. If I force them to go too far in one day, all the animals will die. So, my master, you go on ahead of me, your servant. I will follow you slowly and let the animals and the children set the speed at which we travel. I will meet you, my master, in Edom.”
So Esau said, “Then let me leave some of my people with you.”
“No, thank you,” said Jacob. “I only want to please you, my master.” So that day Esau started back to Edom. But Jacob went to Succoth, where he built a house for himself and shelters for his animals. That is why the place was named Succoth.
(New Century Version (NCV))
Loving Divine Family,
We draw near to you in your sacred prayer space and feel you draw close to us. You have provided wise Elders in our midst who bring your teachings to us. Life-giving Spirit speaks to our innermost being. You instruct us to guard and honour those you have entrusted to us, and by doing so, we also honour you. This world seeks to steal and harm from our midst. But your word and instruction are our strength and protection.
Thank you, loving Yahweh, for your abundant blessings and provisions. Thank you for your mercy, your protection, and for restoring broken relationships. Thank you for leading us at a pace that is not overwhelming. May we see you in others and greet them in a good way.
I receive your wise guidance today, Yahweh, and thank you for…
Open our eyes to the dangers around us. Open our ears to the wise Elders you have sent to us. Open our hearts to feel compassion for those in our care. Give us all we need to build shelters and protection for all you have entrusted to us.
With joy, we praise you!
Cherie and Donovan Mutschler