Message by Josh Mutter – September 10, 2023

Big Idea: Being aware of God’s presence in our experiece of division and conflict is key to practising peace.

Genesis 31:7 NIV  “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.”

1. To practise peace requires moving towards those we are in conflict with.

Genesis 32:6 NIV   “We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.”

2. To practise peace can feel risky.

3. To practise peace requires embracing the struggle.

Genesis 32:22-32 NIV That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.

4. To practise peace means that we demonstrate that we are committed to reconciliation.

Genesis 33:1-4 NIV  Jacob looked up and there was Esau, coming with his four hundred men; so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel and the two female servants. He put the female servants and their children in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph in the rear. He himself went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother. But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept.

5. To practise peace is to allow God’s presence to shape how we engage division and conflict.

Reflection Questions:

  • Who is God prompting us to move towards?
  • How is God using our times of struggling through something to shape us?
  • How am I seeing God in this experience?

Genesis 33:10 NIV  “… to see your face is like seeing the face of God …”

You can listen to the sermon on YouTube here.