"Then Laban said to him, "You are my own flesh and blood.". (Genesis 29:14)
To finally meet the relatives in a distant place is one of life's true blessings. I remember when my father's brother and sister came for visits, usually in the summer time.
Uncle Melvin and his family came from Valparaiso, Indiana, and Aunt Christine and her family traveled from Indianapolis. These were the characters in my father's tales of his childhood and young adult years. There was the story on Uncle Madison, Aunt Christine's husband, catching a mole at the Hermitage and walking around Old Hickory's mansion with the mole on a leash made from my uncle’s shoelaces. Dad and Uncle Melvin served in the Tennessee Army National Guard and were part of the state militia deployed to Columbia, Tennessee, to settle a race riot. To me these relatives of my father's family were legendary. Whenever I could be with them, hear them sing, play their guitars on my grandparent's front porch and later eat homemade ice cream—those were days when characters moved out of narratives and into life.
Jacob walked into his family's living legend one hot day afternoon. His family of origin, Isaac, Rachael, his parents, and Esau, his outwitted brother, were hundreds of miles to the south. He no longer feared being shot with an arrow from Esau’s bow. The fortune Jacob swindled from Esau was no longer a matter of concern in this foreign land. What really mattered was surviving, the distant hope of finding his kinfolks and hopefully a bride worthy of bearing the children of the great nation God had promised to his grandfather, Abraham, his father, Isaac, and in a dream to himself.
The conclusion of Jacob's journey was first meeting with his cousin, Rachael, and his uncle, Laban. The love story of Jacob and Rachael is worthy of Shakespeare. The marital maneuvers and business deals of Jacob and Uncle Laban are filled with trickery and intrigue. For the whole story read Genesis 29:1 – 30 and discover what happened on the night of Jacob's wedding. Hint: It ends with "Cappuccino Moments in a Jalapeño World."
Blessings and Jesus Smiles,
Dr. Ron Lowery,
Lead Pastor, Fellowship UMC