One Sunday a long time ago, in the middle of the third point of my sermon, I lost my nerve. On Friday and Saturday doubts about the usefulness of the message had muttered darkly in the back of my mind, but I’d pushed ahead, ever the good soldier. But Sunday at about 11:40 a.m. my faith fled the field!
Jacob’s mysterious struggle with God (or the angel or the Man) is not a one-off story. It is archetypal, repeated in the lives of all those blessed by God. In the upside-down world of his grace, God surrenders his blessing only to those whom he defeats.