Scripture: Genesis 28:10-22
Key verse: (15) Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
Reflection: Starting over is always fraught with fear and potential failure. So it was with ancient Jacob who had cheated his brother, Esau, out of his birthright. The father’s blessing that Jacob so wanted, Jacob got – but only by deceiving his brother and his father.
Estranged from his brother and father, Jacob realized he couldn’t stay around home and set off for places far away. He had burnt his bridges.
As he escaped his brother’s wrath, Jacob set off for an unknown future filled with worry and trepidation. One night, his anxiety finally overwhelmed him and he had an amazing dream. He saw a ladder ascending to the heavens with angels going up and down. God spoke to Jacob, reaffirming the promises made to his ancestors – land, descendants, blessings. But God offered Jacob a promise that endures for God’s people through all time: “Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” That promise of God’s continuing presence gave Jacob courage to keep moving on his journey into an unknown future.
If the beginning of a new year brings for you new options, new possibilities, and new challenges, like Jacob of old, know that God’s promise is for you. Whatever lies ahead in the coming year, wherever our journeys take us, whatever the challenges, we can believe that we will not be alone. God goes with us every step, all the way. That is an awesome promise – a blessing for our journey into a new year.
Prayer: Go with us God. Help us overcome the pull of the past and lead us boldly into what lies ahead. Help us sense your presence with us that we might take courage. In the name of the one God who makes all things new, we pray. Amen.
Author: Von Clemans
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].