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The Rev. William Klock: "Finding the Light when Living in the Shadows"
Prydain ^ | 9/15/2006 | Will

Posted on 09/15/2006 7:09:04 PM PDT by sionnsar

Continuing with his exemplary series of sermons on the Book of Genesis, we have Finding the Light when Living in the Shadows from the Rev. William Klock of Christ Church REC in Oregon. This sermon, based on Genesis 29:31-30:43, looks at the account of Jacob's marriages to Leah and to Rachel, and his dealings with their father Laban. In many ways this sermon is a penetrating analysis of the character flaws of these people, and the results of these flaws. But Fr. Klock sums up the exposition of this passage with a message of hope:

The whole point is God’s grace. If God only called perfect people to be a part of his Kingdom, there wouldn’t be any reason for grace. But God calls sinners. The Gospel isn’t about “I’m okay, and you’re okay.” The Gospel is about “I’m not okay and neither are you, but through Christ’s sacrifice of himself in our place and by the Holy Spirit working in each of us God will renew and reshape each of us in the image of Christ, his perfect Son. What’s really amazing about grace is that God so often bypasses the people we think are the most holy, and instead chooses the most fallible and the most fallen, the worst of the sinners in the world. Jesus didn’t spend much time in the Temple teaching the scribes and Pharisees; he went to the streets and preached – and made friends with – the “tax collectors and sinners.” In our lesson today God chose to work through two rival sisters, their conman husband, and their scheming and exploitative father. In spite of Jacob’s prayerlessness and Rachel and Leah’s rivalry for his affection, God blesses their family with twelve sons and built a holy nation from them. His grace is greater than our sins.

Because God’s grace is greater than our sins, we have hope. The story of Jacob, Rachel, and Leah is a story about emptiness and pain. They all live half-lives because of their jealousy and hostility to each other. Leah has children, but not the love of her husband. Rachel was the love of her husband, but had no children. Jacob had a promise of greatness, but was living as a virtual slave. This is where God finds each of us. Jesus himself said that he came that we “may have life, and have it abundantly.” God mercifully comes to each of us and through his son offers us his grace and through that gives us hope for a full and abundant life in him. Jacob, Rachel, and Leah weren’t living fully what God intended because they hadn’t surrendered themselves to him. They had small and simple faith. They needed to experience God’s gracious discipline to nurture their faith. They needed to learn to stop trusting in themselves and to truly make the LORD their Lord. They needed to come to the point of understanding what it means to live completely in the grace of God, fully trusting him, always obeying him, and unfalteringly following where he leads. This is the life-changing difference between calling Jesus “Lord” and really living with him as Our Lord.
You know, until this sermon series I had not realized the grace of God runs all through the Book of Genesis! But what a marvelous grace we see in these passages. My thanks to Fr. Klock for making this clearer to me.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant

1 posted on 09/15/2006 7:09:07 PM PDT by sionnsar
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2 posted on 09/15/2006 7:10:08 PM PDT by sionnsar (††|Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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