This sermon was based on Genesis 33:1-11
Jacob Meets Esau
1And Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two female servants. 2And he put the servants with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. 3He himself went on before them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
4 But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. 5And when Esau lifted up his eyes and saw the women and children, he said, “Who are these with you?” Jacob said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” 6Then the servants drew near, they and their children, and bowed down. 7Leah likewise and her children drew near and bowed down. And last Joseph and Rachel drew near, and they bowed down. 8Esau said, “What do you mean by all this company that I met?” Jacob answered, “To find favor in the sight of my lord.” 9But Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.” 10Jacob said, “No, please, if I have found favor in your sight, then accept my present from my hand. For I have seen your face, which is like seeing the face of God, and you have accepted me. 11Please accept my blessing that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.” Thus he urged him, and he took it.
Reconciliation Begins with God
When you encounter God, when you meet with him and know him personally, it’s going to change you, it will change your heart and that will make you want to make things right with others.
Pray to God that you’ll see people the way he see’s them, we’re called to love God and love people. The first step is chasing God, so you see people less through the broken lens that is your perspective, and you see people the way he see’s them.
Your Relationship with God Will Affect Your Relationships with Others
Knowing that our relationship with God affects our relationship with others, for most of us is common sense. When we’re more on fire for Jesus we’re better at loving others. The bible is also clear, if you want reconciliation with God you have to be reconciled with one another. Broken ties with each other also damage our relationship with God.
If you are focussed on being angry or hurt by someone else, you can’t focus properly on Jesus. If you’re consumed by the hurt of a relationship here on earth you can’t be consumed by Jesus.
Reconciliation Might Involve Dragging up the Past
For most of us it’s so much easier to bury stuff, to pretend that stuff we’ve done wrong, or something someone did wrong to us, it’s easier to just forget about it. Bringing it back to the surface and dealing with those feelings is hard.
The only way we can find freedom from those feelings, is not to bury but deal with whatever issues there might be.
Bringing Healing in Relationships is Intentional
It is a lie that time heals all things, it might cover, or lessen hurts, but it doesn’t heal. If you want to see healing you’ve got to do something.
Where possible get in touch with that person the broken relationship is with and talk about what the issues are. Where there has been a fallout between individuals, or a misunderstanding or a hurt, intentionally and directly talking about the problem with them is the best way to bring reconciliation.
Reconciliation Will Require Vulnerability
It is so hard to put yourself out there, whether you’re the one who’s wronged someone and you need to admit fault and own what you did, or whether you’ve been wronged. Trying to reconcile with a person who’s wronged you can almost feel like admitting to them that this has power over you and you can’t cope unless it’s been made right. That puts us in a really vulnerable position. Reconciliation requires vulnerability.
Reconciliation Requires Humility
The first thing Jacob does is he bows down to Esau. They’ve got a complicated story, you could argue from both sides about who is in the wrong. That doesn’t matter to Jacob, he’s encountered God and he’s come to a realisation that he just needs to make it right.
Esau threatened to kill him, and he took back the birth right Jacob feels is his. However, he bows down to Esau because making things right was more important to him than being right.
Reconciliation is Powerful and Will Bring a Deeper Joy Than You Can Ever Know
The power and joy that comes from a broken relationship being healed is out of this world. And it’s an amazing foretaste of what is to come for us in eternity.