Genesis 32: 22 – 32
Psalm 17: 1 – 8
Matthew 9: 32 – 38
It was the winter term of Grade 9, and for gym class we were being taught some of the finer points of wrestling. As I am sure you can imagine, even though I had the weight, I didn’t have the strength, the aptitude, the dexterity, or more importantly the interest, to make a wrestler. But none the less, day after day, I would be assigned a partner, and within seconds, I would be flat on the mat with my opponent once again triumphant. I don’t think I ever lasted more than a few seconds, and I am sure that I never once prevailed.
With my dismal wrestling record, I can’t really imagine what it would be like to be so evenly matched, that you could actually wrestle all through the night, before one or other prevailed, yet this is exactly what happened that night with Jacob.
The same night he got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him.
It was only as dawn was breaking, that Jacob’s hip joint was thrown out, and the night time contest came to an end.
I’d like to begin with a question this evening: How many of you have been called to the ministry? Now I’m not going to ask for a show of hands, but I imagine that if I did there might be a few hands raised here, but not many. And most of you would be wrong in your answer. In fact, if you are a Christian, you are, by definition, called to the ministry.
Who are the ministers of the Church?, the Catechism asks. They are “lay persons, bishops, priests and deacons” through whom the Church carries on its mission in the world (BCP, 855). Ordinary people, like you and me, who have been loved and saved and reconciled by God, and whom God now asks to be channels of that same love, salvation and reconciliation to others.