Inquiring rather than praying

There is a story, well-known to some, about Isaac and Rebekah, and their two sons Jacob and Esau. You can read about it in Genesis chapter 25.

Soon after Isaac and Rebekah are married, the ancient inspired story-teller said that Isaac prayed for Rebekah. He prayed for his wife because she was barren. Rebekah becomes pregnant with her first child, only she finds out that she’s going to have twins! Now, how did she know that she was going to have twins? I imagine that many mothers in the ancient world who had twins perhaps found out when the babies were born. I suspect though, if you are attentive and know your body during a pregnancy, you can probably feel what you come to realize are two heads. From the story, it seems pretty clear that Rebekah knew she was going to have twins because the text in Genesis says that in the womb Jacob and Esau were struggling and wrestling and fighting. She could feel their fighting inside of her, their instinctive jockeying to be first-born, with all the rights and privileges that go along with that in the ancient world. So much so that Rebekah in exasperation says, “If it is to be this way, why do I live?” (I imagine that she said that not as a question, but as a demand for an answer, with a few four letters words thrown in that an uptight redactor politely scrolled out of the story.)

And so Rebekah goes and inquires of the Lord. Now, don’t miss that little detail. It’s important. It doesn’t say that Rebekah went and prayed to the Lord. Isaac prayed to the Lord, but Rebekah went to inquire of the Lord. Anyone ever inquired of the Lord? I have. Anyone ever go to the Lord and say, I need you to answer some %$#^& questions. What the H-E Double hockey sticks is going on inside of me? What does this mean? I’m tired of this. I need something to hang some hope on to, or I’m going to tear these alien beings out of me!

Anyone here ever went to “inquire” of the Lord. That may mean that something amazing’s about to happen. That may be one way that begins to clue you in that God’s newness is being born. That’s one way of practicing being open, open to the newness of God in us and the newness of God happening also in others.


Still thinking resurrection

I’ve been conducting interviews for our new position, the Director of Operations and Administration. We have conducted 9 interviews and our prayer to begin each one has been:

Dear Lord, open us to your Holy Spirit, which is always here, wherever we are. Amen.

For the second interviews taking place with 4 people, which begins today, we’ll be praying this prayer for each one:

Dear Risen Lord, we continue acknowledging that you are present with us, always, wherever we are. We seek your guidance, and invite you to show us the Way. Amen.