Jacob’s theophany, his dream of angels on a stairway to heaven, strikes me as an appealing tale of unmerited grace. Here’s a man who has just deceived his father and cheated his brother out of an inheritance. But God’s response to finding Jacob vulnerable, sleeping all alone in open country, is not to strike him down for his sins but to give him a blessing. …Jacob’s exclamation is … a reminder that God can choose to dwell everywhere and anywhere we go. One morning this past spring I noticed a young couple with an infant at an airport departure gate. The baby was staring intently at other people, and as soon as he recognized a human face, no matter whose it was, no matter if it was young or old, pretty or ugly, bored or happy or worried-looking he would respond with absolute delight. It was beautiful to see. Our drab departure gate had become the gate of heaven. And as I watched that baby play with any adult who would allow it, I felt awe-struck as Jacob, because I realized that this is how God looks at us, staring into our faces in order to be delighted, to see the creature he made and called good, along with the rest of creation. And, as Psalm 139 puts it, darkness is as nothing to God, who can look right through whatever evil we’ve done in our lives to the creature made in the diving image.” Kathleen Norris
“Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said,
‘Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.
…How awesome is this place!
This is none other than the house of God,
and this is the gate of heaven.”
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- The “God of Jacob” is, of necessity, a God of grace. What feelings arise when you consider that “the God of Jacob” is your God? (Psalm 46)
- God gazes “into our faces in order to be delighted.” What feelings does God intend for you as you ponder this?
- Imagine how an infant gazes at you, or your child going off to war, or your spouse as you’re taken into surgery. Now imagine God gazing at you. Feel it, don’t analyse it.
Abba, please never hide from me the light of your face.
For More: Amazing Grace by Kathleen Norris
Thanks for your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)