The First Reading is recorded in Genesis 32:22-30. Some background: Jacob, the second born twin, wouldn’t help his starving brother unless Esau sold him the birthright, making Jacob the first son, and then Jacob tricked their father Isaac into giving him the blessing. Jacob’s brother was so furious with Jacob that he was going to kill him, forcing Jacob to flee to his uncle. Through selective breeding, Jacob finagled a way to get the best of his uncle’s flocks and herds. Then Jacob took his wives and property and fled from his uncle before his uncle could stop him. The situation in the First Reading is that Jacob has returned to his homeland, only to be forced to meet his brother the next day. How would Esau greet him? Would Esau kill him and his family? The night before the meeting Jacob is scared and alone. Suddenly out of the darkness a being confronts Jacob and wrestles with him all night. Jacob holds his own, but the struggle makes him a changed man, and gives him a new identity: Israel (struggles with God). The Lord changed Jacob from a cheat and scoundrel to a person the Lord would work through. The Lord can change us. Let us die to our sinful self and let Him raise us up every day in Christ.
Holy God, all praise to You for turning the life of Jacob around and making him to be Your servant, an instrument in Your hand. By Your grace turn us to You each day, making us new in Jesus each day. Amen.
The psalm is 121. This is a psalm of Ascents, a psalm a pilgrim would sing on the way to Jerusalem to worship at the Temple. The psalmist is in danger, and looks for help. From where will help come? From the gods of the hills? No, the only help the psalmist will receive is from the Lord. Notice how the psalmist then proclaims how the Lord protects and gives life. Let us trust and proclaim the Lord with the psalmist.
Faithful Lord, to You be all honor, praise and thanks that You are the source of our help. Keep our eyes fixed on You, especially as You reveal Yourself to us in Jesus, trusting in Your care and mercy. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
The Second Reading is recorded in 2 Timothy 3:14 – 4:5. What a powerful passage to show us the importance of the Bible! Notice all that Paul says about the Bible: it is breathed out by God, and profitable for teaching, reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that we will be fully ready to do what the Lord wants. Let us be diligent in studying and growing in the Scriptures.
Holy Spirit, continue to give us a love and desire to study and grow in the Lord through the Scriptures. Keep us steadfast in the Word. Keep us in Christ. Amen.
The Gospel is recorded in Luke 18:1-8. This passage is a clear message to be diligent in prayer, keep bringing your petitions to the Lord. At the right time and in the right way He will hear and answer. Pray!
Holy Spirit, keep us in the gift of prayer, and when words fail us, let our sighs be taken by You to the throne of God, interceding for us through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.