by Dennis Miller

Each year, this is one of my favorite weekends!  The first weekend of October is a reminder that the Fall season has begun, but it is also Worldwide Communion Sunday.  The purpose of this Christian weekend is to celebrate our unity in Christ.  We will take communion in different ways, in different parts of the world, in different denominations, with somewhat different theologies, but we will all be reminded that we are ONE in Christ!

The message of unity is so important in today’s world, and it is also important as we continue our study of Jacob and meet his dysfunctional, fragmented family.  Now we all come from dysfunctional families to some extent because of our broken world, but Jacob’s family sets a new standard for dysfunction.  We will learn about that this weekend.

We have a team leaving today for Colombia to meet an unreached people group, to begin building desks for a school, and to teach sewing.  Our team of Pastor Steve Fish, Kris & Jim Hittler, Jacie Worrick, Amy Kramer, Debbie Yarger, and Tom Clounie deserves your prayers.  Karin and I will join the team on Monday for a few days to learn more about this ministry and opportunity. 

Parents or folks who take advantage of our children's programming on weekends and during the week should note the following!  Beginning the first week of October, the Kids’ Walk Children’s Ministries will begin limiting access to the children’s wing during all programming, which includes all weekend services and Midweek, to ensure the safety of all children. This is not in response to any specific incident but is for the general safety of all children in our care.

Doors will be locked 10 minutes after any programming begins. Ex. 6:40pm for midweek, 6:10pm on Saturday night, 9:40 and 11:10am on Sunday’s. Doors will reopen at the end of each scheduled program.
*Only approved volunteers will be allowed in the children’s areas once all doors have been locked.

For families that arrive late on the weekends, the Commons will be available for family worship. For families that arrive late to midweek, a volunteer will escort families to classes.  Questions can be directed here!

We continue our series on Jacob and learn about an extremely dysfunctional family.  Hopefully we will learn some good lessons for unity within our own families and our church family.  We will also share in Holy Communion in all services.

Gen. 27:1 When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he called for Esau his older son and said to him, “My son.” “Here I am,” he answered. 2 Isaac said, “I am now an old man and don’t know the day of my death. 3 Now then, get your equipment—your quiver and bow—and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me. 4 Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die.”

Gen. 27:5 Now Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau left for the open country to hunt game and bring it back, 6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau, 7 ‘Bring me some game and prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my blessing in the presence of the LORD before I die.’ 8 Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you: 9 Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it. 10 Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing before he dies.”11 Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “But my brother Esau is a hairy man while I have smooth skin. 12 What if my father touches me? I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing.” 13 His mother said to him, “My son, let the curse fall on me. Just do what I say; go and get them for me.”

Gen. 27:14 So he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and she prepared some tasty food, just the way his father liked it. 15 Then Rebekah took the best clothes of Esau her older son, which she had in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob. 16 She also covered his hands and the smooth part of his neck with the goatskins. 17 Then she handed to her son Jacob the tasty food and the bread she had made. 18 He went to his father and said, “My father.” “Yes, my son,” he answered. “Who is it?” 19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.” 20 Isaac asked his son, “How did you find it so quickly, my son?”  “The LORD your God gave me success,” he replied. 21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come near so I can touch you, my son, to know whether you really are my son Esau or not.” 22 Jacob went close to his father Isaac, who touched him and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23 He did not recognize him, for his hands were hairy like those of his brother Esau; so he proceeded to bless him. 24 “Are you really my son Esau?” he asked.  “I am,” he replied. 25 Then he said, “My son, bring me some of your game to eat, so that I may give you my blessing.”  Jacob brought it to him and he ate; and he brought some wine and he drank 26 Then his father Isaac  said to him, “Come here, my son, and kiss me.” 27   So he went to him and kissed him. When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he blessed him and said, “Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that the LORD has blessed. 28 May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness—an abundance of grain and new wine. 29 May nations serve you  and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed  and those who bless you be blessed.”

Gen. 27:30 After Isaac finished blessing him, and Jacob had scarcely left his father’s presence, his brother Esau came in from hunting. 31 He too prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Then he said to him, “My father, please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.” 32 His father Isaac asked him, “Who are you?”  “I am your son,” he answered, “your firstborn, Esau.”33 Isaac trembled violently and said, “Who was it, then, that hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came and I blessed him—and indeed he will be blessed!” 34 When Esau heard his father’s words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me—me too, my father!” 35 But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.” 36 Esau said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob? This is the second time he has taken advantage of me: He took my birthright, and now he’s taken my blessing!” Then he asked, “Haven’t you reserved any blessing for me?” 37 Isaac answered Esau, “I have made him lord over you and have made all his relatives his servants, and I have sustained him with grain and new wine. So what can I possibly do for you, my son?” 38 Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!” Then Esau wept aloud. . . . 41 Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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