Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sun. July 20, 2014 (Ruth Enns)

Ruth Enns spoke on Genesis 28.10, the first story about Jacob's life as a fugitive. He had just deceived his father, robbed his twin brother of his precious birthright (wealth, status, blessing), and was now on the run, fearing for his life.  This deceitful young man was nevertheless repeatedly blessed by Yahweh, sometimes through dreams, sometimes through accumulated wealth (even when using questionable means), sometimes through children (though his family was totally dysfunctional). God the faithful kept offering Jacob encouragement during his life, as was true that first night away from home.  His dream depicted angels going up and down "Jacob's ladder" while God spoke to his conscience.  This metaphor of communicating with the spiritual world has fascinated artists (including Frieda Epp, whose beautiful painting of this dream was a focal point for Henry's introduction to the morning's service). The composer, Arnold Schoenberg, struggled to compose an oratorio on this story, but felt it was so powerful that he needed to invent a new musical language (atonal, with no tonal center).  Writers have focused on how Jacob was transformed by this experience, some psychologists have drawn attention to the importance of our dreams.  Hymns (Nearer my God to Thee) and children's songs ("We are climbing Jacob's ladder") also celebrate this singular dream.  How do we find ourselves being connected to God, to that which is spiritual?  Do those experiences touch us briefly or profoundly? [JEK]

Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday, July 20th, 2014 using your browser's preferred media player.



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