BIAY – Genesis 28 – Marks


On my walk with Scout tonight around our neighborhood, I saw the mark of  someone who wrote “HI” (their initials or just a greeting) and “2006” in wet concrete years ago.  I saw where someone had poked a broken stick down into the ground at a street corner.  A bench sits outside our middle school  honoring the class of 1956.  And students tied these pom-poms around a tree outside the school.  Those four marks were just in about a 4 block radius of one another – each with a different meaning.  

In Genesis 28, this part of the Jacob story shares of him having a vision of God’s promise and the connection between the heavens and the earth.  He wakes in the morning declaring that it is “Beth-el” – the house of God and he marks that place with a stone and pouring oil over it and makes a commitment to God going forward in his life (although going forward, there’s still a good bit of the “trickster” in him).  

As I read this, I thought of the many ways we “mark” moments in our lives.  People today still pile stones up to mark a moment or a place, some get tattoos to mark moments in life, others take photographs, some write about it, and there are probably so many more ways.  But we as humans have this sense of wanting to mark places so that we can return to them remembering what happened in that place, on that date, or with whom it was shared.  There’s a holiness to this – a setting apart – as we remember that that space will never be the same as it once was.  

We can return to that place and possibly join with Jacob in saying, “Surely the LORD is in this place—and I did not know it!”

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