30 As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of his father Isaac, his brother Esau came in from his hunting. 31 He also prepared savory food, and brought it to his father. And he said to his father, “Let my father sit up and eat of his son’s game, so that you may bless me.” 32 His father Isaac said to him, “Who are you?” He answered, “I am your firstborn son, Esau.” 33 Then Isaac trembled violently, and said, “Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me, and I ate it all before you came, and I have blessed him?—yes, and blessed he shall be!”34 When Esau heard his father’s words, he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, “Bless me, me also, father!” 35 But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing.” 36 Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright; and look, now he has taken away my blessing.” Then he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?” 37 Isaac answered Esau, “I have already made him your lord, and I have given him all his brothers as servants, and with grain and wine I have sustained him. What then can I do for you, my son?” 38 Esau said to his father, “Have you only one blessing, father? Bless me, me also, father!” And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.
Sometimes things don’t always work out as planned, our kids can disappoint us, and we can disappoint them as well.
In today’s reading we are told the story of how things did not quite go as planned, thanks to a good son’s bad behavior, and outright deception. Poor Esau comes to get his father’s blessing to find out that it has already been given, and that all which was supposed to be his went instead to his brother Jacob, who was now head of the family.
Today’s scripture reminds us that family dysfunction and sibling rivalry are not new things, but very ancient, and can effect even the best of families. This story also reminds us that while our children can do bad things from time to time, that does not make them bad people…it just makes them sinners…just like we are.
We all make mistakes, and there are also times when we do things on purpose that we know to be wrong…but we do them any way for any number of reasons; and unfortunately our kids will often do the same things. As single parents it can sometimes be difficult to deal with our children’s bad choices, whether they are made by mistake or on purpose; and when having to face the consequences of these choices, it can sometimes feel as if we really are raising our children by ourselves as we can feel helpless and alone at these times of trouble.
It doesn’t help when we see other families that seem to get along fine, without some of the struggles we have had to face…and feel like they have been blessed while we may be feeling a bit like Esau, as if there no more blessings left for us.
But it can help to remember that we should not judge our insides by other people’s outsides…as every family has trials that they have to face, as well as joys that they can share together!
Life can be like that at times, giving us the good with the bad, and it is good to know that these are things that everyone goes through, that no one has a perfect family, not even Isaac or Jesus for that matter…as there was sometimes turmoil and jealousy even among the disciples.
No family is perfect, and does not have to be…the most important thing is that we have love for each other, and as the story of Jacob and Esau plays out we find that they do eventually reconcile, as their love for each other overcomes any past hurt or jealousy that they felt. In this reconciliation, when Esau reached out to his brother with forgiveness, was when he was truly blessed…as in the end all the material things that Jacob gained when he deceived his father Isaac did not matter as much as making the two brothers making amends, and rebuilding their family bonds.
Just as with Jacob and Esau, our true blessings come from God, and cannot be measured solely in material means, but in the love we share for each other. No matter how broken our relationships with those close to us may become, there is always hope, always the truth of reconciliation…which does not mean what happened to break the relationship was okay, but that the hurt that was caused will be put aside and forgiven, in light of what really matters: the love we share with one another, love that is a blessing, and a sign of God’s great love for us.
Unlike Isaac with Esau, God never runs out of blessing for us, and once given this blessing of forgiveness, we are called to share it with those who may have hurt us, or disappointed us, especially our children, who we love no matter what.
And in this love, there is hope, and the truth that regardless of the trouble that may come to us in our families, we do not face these issues alone, but together, as we all walk in faith, in the light of God’s love.
Let us Pray
God, thank you for blessing us with Christ, a sign of your love, and forgiveness for us. Help us to share these gifts with our own loved ones…especially when we disappoint each other. Let us remember that beyond our hurts and resentments, and disappointment that we have love for each other, and that this is what really matters in the long run. Thank you for being with us for our long journey as single parents, and for giving us your support and love.