Tomorrow is Gospel Journey Maui! Woop woop! Time to "shred the gnar," as Zane would say. Even though we won't be watching the first episode until next week, we are still introducing some important info you should know about the cast of GJM. This blog is a resource to supplement our discussions, so take full advantage of it if you have any questions, concerns, or thoughts post them here every week!
During GJM we're going to be confronting some big, no, HUGE questions; questions people have wrestled with since time began, and will be still struggling with in the distant future. Maybe you will start this series and realize your not so sure about your own faith, is that alright? Are we allowed to question God? To doubt? In my opinion, yes!!! In fact, the Jewish tradition (our foundation) insists that to have a healthy relationship with God, we MUST wrestle w/our questions and doubts! In Genesis, Jacob (liar and brother of the hairy Esau) is preparing for the arrival of his vengeful brother, when suddenly, he's jumped by a "stranger" who wrestles him, injuring his hip. Even though jacob is injured, and no doubt frightened, he refuses to let the stranger go until it bless him. The stranger responds with a very strange question; he asks, 'what is your name?' (Genesis32:29)
Why does the stranger ask this? I mean later in the story we find out this mid-night wrestler is God (or an angel...). Wouldn't God know this is Jacob? Well the answer to these questions can be found earlier in the story. If you remember, one of the first times we meet Jacob (in chapter 27), he is pretending to be his brother Esau, to fool his blind father into giving him the blessing reserved for an elder son. When Issac, his father, asks Jacob who he is, Jacob says "I am Esau, your first born."
He lies.He pretends to be somebody else! Jacob, up to this point in the story, has never acknowledged himself. So when the stranger asks Jacob "Who are you?", he's really saying to Jacob, do you know who you are? When are you gonna stop pretending to be your brother? When are you gonna take responsibility for yourself? Don't you know it's ok to be you?'
When we take time to wrestle with God and demand some answers, some wsidom, some blessings... God will listen, he will challenge us, and if we hold on long enough, we will learn about ourselves in the process.
In Jacob's case God doesn't even wait to be wrestled, HE goes after Jacob! After praying about this series over the past month, the staff here feels like GJM might not be us going after God, but God comming after us. Will you show up? Will you be open to new questions? Worldviews? Fears?
Will you be open to having faith inspite of unanswered questions?
Grace and Peace,
Leigh & Brandon