October 15

Genesis 22:27-31

“So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, ‘For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.’” vs. 30

John writes in his gospel that no one has ever seen God, but that Jesus the Christ had made God known. Yet in the Genesis stories we find a different perspective. Abraham had conversations with the Lord and in this passage Jacob reports seeing God face to face. And then in Exodus we discover that Moses regularly met with the Lord face to face in the tent of meeting. Most of us probably would agree with John’s perspective, yet there’s an undeniable appeal to the old tales from the Pentateuch. We like the notion of a personal face to face encounter with the Lord, and for some people that language fits their experience. They speak of going toe to toe with God as they struggle with life’s unanswered questions. Others report intense wrestling matches in the dark of the night. Skeptics might discount such accounts as the product of an overactive conscience, a kind of internal struggle common to us all. They say rightly that God has no physical form or shape to do battle with. Such folks are missing the point. Of course the striving is internal…that’s where the Lord is! In addition to being in every part of the universe and beyond, God is imprinted in our DNA. God is the breath of life and fills us every day of our lives…and is always available for a debate!

Thought for the Day: What are my biggest unanswered questions?

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