Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.
No Facetime. No cell phones. Not even snail mail. When Jacob met with his uncle, Laban, it may have been the first news Laban had received of his sister, Rebekah, since she left to marry Isaac decades before. Considering this, it’s no surprise that Laban and Rachel responded so emotionally to Jacob’s presence. He represented news not only that Rebekah was alive and well, but that her family she had raised a family that was strong and well.
Maybe it’s a generational thing, but both my spouse and I have elder relatives that will say things like, “Oh, you’re going through Crawfordsville, Indiana? Your father’s mother’s sister’s brother-in-law’s grandson lives there. You should stop and say ‘hello.'”
What?! I didn’t even know we had a such-and-such. Why would I stop to say hello?
Maybe my generation (or maybe it’s just me) is just too busy and self-absorbed to care about people we’ve never met. I barely make time to call my own parents. (Sorry, Mom. Sorry, Dad.) Or maybe we’re just on information overload and can’t process the greeting, meeting, storytelling, keep-in-touch that happens at such gatherings. Personally, I just don’t trust people much, so the idea of meeting new people and hitting the ground running with stories of my childhood and how we’re related to whom, is just too vulnerable. Maybe I’ll get there someday. Maybe when I’m older I’ll develop an appreciation for long-lost relatives. For now, I will have to be content with my weekly Facetime conversations with my sister — about the farthest distance of relative I seem to have time and energy for. Sigh. Oh, well.
Narrative Lectionary Text: Genesis 29:1-14
Then Jacob went on his journey, and came to the land of the people of the east. As he looked, he saw a well in the field and three flocks of sheep lying there beside it; for out of that well the flocks were watered. The stone on the well’s mouth was large, and when all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone from the mouth of the well, and water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place on the mouth of the well. Jacob said to them, “My brothers, where do you come from?” They said, “We are from Haran.” He said to them, “Do you know Laban son of Nahor?” They said, “We do.” He said to them, “Is it well with him?” “Yes,” they replied, “and here is his daughter Rachel, coming with the sheep.” He said, “Look, it is still broad daylight; it is not time for the animals to be gathered together. Water the sheep, and go, pasture them.” But they said, “We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together, and the stone is rolled from the mouth of the well; then we water the sheep.”
While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep; for she kept them. Now when Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of his mother’s brother Laban, and the sheep of his mother’s brother Laban, Jacob went up and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of his mother’s brother Laban. Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and wept aloud. And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s kinsman, and that he was Rebekah’s son; and she ran and told her father. When Laban heard the news about his sister’s son Jacob, he ran to meet him; he embraced him and kissed him, and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban all these things, and Laban said to him, “Surely you are my bone and my flesh!” And he stayed with him a month.