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The Gift of Imperfection

Jul 16, 2017 - Rev. Victoria Robb Powers

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Family relationships can be challenging for all of us, but Isaac’s family knew drama more intimately than many others, and conflict often defined them. His sons, Esau and Jacob, were no exception as they were literally fighting before their birth according to the biblical narrative.

We have all experienced some degree of outrage when someone else received the credit, recognition, or privileges that we think we deserved. When Jacob, as the younger brother in a strict hierarchy, saw that his older twin held a more prominent and fortunate position in the family, he manipulated his hungry and exhausted brother out of his birthright as the eldest male.

Jacob proves time and time again to be the most unworthy of people, and yet, God chose Jacob from the very beginning to bear the promise of Israel. Why would God choose Jacob, this manipulative cheater, to be the “chosen one”? In our own time, why are cheaters and backstabbers often rewarded when the righteous go unnoticed?

The story can dishearten us, but is should actually encourage us. As it turns out, God’s choosing Jacob (and Israel through him) was not to create an elite class of persons or a special nation superior to all the rest. God’s choosing Jacob is God’s choosing all people like Jacob – all imperfect, unworthy, less than admirable people (which is all of us). God chose Jacob not at the exclusion of everyone else but for the inclusion of everyone else.

No person is more chosen or blessed by God than anyone else. We are all beloved and accepted through God’s radical grace. Thanks be to God!

Food for Thought:

  • Grace can anger us when we see someone else receive it. Who are people that you think are undeserving of grace or forgiveness? Pray for the ability to see those people as beloved by God and to offer them grace.
  • Consider your own flaws and your need for grace. Thank God today that by grace you are already forgiven and no shame remains.
  • Many people have showed you grace that you never earned. Offer gratitude for people who have forgiven you or offered grace. Perhaps you could send a note or speak a word of thanks to that person this week.

May your soul rest easy in the grace of God that absolves all your stains and sins as one of God’s beloved children. May you grow in the capacity to give the same love and grace that you received. Amen.

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