“The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the LORD.” Genesis 25:22 NIV
Brothers and sisters who become jealous of one another and can’t seem to stop infighting or competing are something of a motif in the Old Testament. Right from the off, where Cain and Abel eye up each other’s sacrifice to God and end up becoming murderer and victim, it continues on in a sometimes vicious enmity. We see the troubles between Joseph and his brothers and half brothers, between Rachel and Leah, between Jacob and Esau. Robes, husbands, birthrights and even lives are stolen.
In a way, it is a picture of the way the whole human race competes and fights, even though we are all brothers and sisters under the parenthood of God. The Pharisee looks down his nose at his brother the publican, the well-to-do despise the tax collectors and sinners, we all watch and count and judge.
Suppose that instead we decided to watch one another in order to celebrate the good things that we see, to encourage the gifts that each one of us carries, how might that look? Suppose that all the churches did that too, so that from Evangelical Protestant, through Episcopalian and Catholic right across to Greek Orthodox, we looked at one another to see what is wonderful in one another’s traditions, instead of imagining that the Father loves us best, we are doing it right, and the birthright belongs to us alone. What might that be like? Perhaps we might ask one another valuable questions and if we actually listen, learn a new tradition or practice that will help us know Father God better.
To be truly equal, loving brothers and sisters, children of God knowing our value both to him and to one another.
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 NIV
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