We are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder…

Jacob’s story is not exemplary. He was a smooth operator who finally met himself in a confronting way – a way that involved disturbing encounters with the Source of his being. One of these encounters (Genesis 28:101-17) became a song sung by oppressed slaves of the southern states of the USA. Its plaintive cry perhapsContinue reading “We are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder…”

Lenten Voices: Stairway to Heaven

What’s your favourite version? The original Led Zepplin leads in Google hits. The lyrics are most evocative as we contemplate the Lenten journey – for on such a road we are often confronted with choices between the tantalising and immediate and the deeper and more reliable. Which is the true stairway to heaven? The imageContinue reading “Lenten Voices: Stairway to Heaven”

Angel wrestling – which hold is best?

How to wrestle an angel – Eureka Street. I love both these poems – especially the second one. In my humble opinion, theology is better expressed through poetry than propositional debate. It takes us to that place in human experience that is beyond, but not dismissive of rational thought. We should read more poetry. MaybeContinue reading “Angel wrestling – which hold is best?”

What does it mean to cede control to the Divine Other?

This is the question I didn’t address in this morning’s harangue based partly on Jacob’s nocturnal struggle with a mysterious strong man. I would have said that Jacob didn’t cede control to the divine being with whom he wrestled all night. He managed to extort a deal – only then did he release the mysteriousContinue reading “What does it mean to cede control to the Divine Other?”

Holy skulduggery

By the end of Genesis, one could be forgiven for thinking that the Divine only favors scoundrels. Jacob, already a fugitive from the consequences of fraudulent behaviour in impersonating his brother, Esau, is outdone by his prospective father-in-law, Laban, who passes the less desirable daughter, Leah, off as the promised bride, Rachel. Ultimately, Jacob scoresContinue reading “Holy skulduggery”

Jacob’s Ladder

Speaking of Jacob’s ladder (the original “Stairway to Heaven”) it comes up in tomorrow’s lectionary. There is some great rabbinic commentary on this episode in Jacob’s enforced flight from home to escape the wrath of Esau whom he diddled of his birthright. Jacob camps out in the open and has a dream – angels travellingContinue reading “Jacob’s Ladder”