In this story, Jacob and his mother, Rebekah, have just swindled his older brother out of his inheritance. Fleeing his brother’s wrath, Jacob leaves to be with his uncle, among whose people Jacob will find a bride. On the way, he sets up camp and has an encounter with God, who promises to accompany and bless Jacob. We don’t read anything about Jacob’s feelings over what he had done, but we can imagine there must have been a measure of guilt and shame.
What a surprise it must have been for God to show up at that time and in that place before Jacob had done anything to right the wrongs he had done. Jacob is so moved by this incredible act of grace, he takes the rock he had been using as a pillow and turns it into an altar to commemorate this experience.
Think about a time when you did or said something that made you feel guilty or ashamed. Did you face the situation head on or did you try to avoid it? Looking back, in what ways did God show up in that situation? Did you have a sense of forgiveness or grace – either from the person you harmed or from God? How might you best commemorate that experience?
Offer a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s grace and blessing. Commit yourself to being transformed by that promise.