Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ephraim's Tale

Read It in the Real Bible: Genesis 48:1-22

Grandpa Jacob was the grandpa that I hardly knew at all. He was my dad’s dad. My mom’s side grandpa I always saw a lot from when I was even a baby. Grandpa Jacob I only met when I was six and I only even saw him three times. But that last time I saw him was the best big-time day of my whole life and I know it’s gonna stay that even when I am grown up and then when I am old. That day will always matter more than all of my other days. I went to see him with my dad and my big brother. When Dad talked to us on the way he sounded sad, but also serious. I could tell he thought this was a big deal.
“Boys, I am taking you to see my dad, your grandfather, and… and I think he is dying.” Well that did not make me think it was a good day. I didn’t really want to watch a old guy die and like I said I didn’t really know him. But dad kept going and how he talked made me sort of scared but not only scared. “My dad is going to talk to you, and he is going to say important words. You see, God talks to my dad and God blesses my dad more than anybody else in the world. And God is going to tell him what to say about you. He is going to say God’s words to you.”
Wouldn’t that make you a little scared? Maybe you’re a wimp and it would make you a lot scared. You’d have to be a fool to not be at least a little scared by that. God is going to tell me all about my life. I’m just a kid. I’ve got a lot of life left. I hope.
When we got there Dad and Grandpa started talking to each other like we weren’t even in the room. And I started hoping they would forget about Grandpa telling me God’s words, but then I was scared they would forget about Grandpa telling me God’s words. I wanted him to but I didn’t. But I wanted it more than I didn’t.
And then Grandpa stopped right in the middle a story about when his wife died, looked right at us, and said, “Are these your sons?"
Dad said, "Yes."
"Bring them over here so I can bless them," Grandpa asked from his bed.
My whole body started tingling and I was more excited than ever and more scared than ever. My brain wanted to get God, but my brain was not my loudest talker. Inside of me there was something else that wanted what God was giving so bad.
Dad put me in front of him on one side and my big brother on the other. I found out that the side was a big deal. The little brother got a blessing from God, but the big brother got the best blessing. I had no idea when I stood there and Grandpa put his hands on us, but he blessed Dad first. Then Dad stopped him and said his hands were wrong. That was the whole thing about the oldest son gets the best blessing. And Dad was getting worked up about it.
"This one is the oldest. Put your right hand on him. Give him the best blessing."
Grandpa kept his hands crossed just like they were and spoke powerfully first to Dad and then to us. He talked about nations, and so many people that come from us, and big time money, and blessings. Most of the words made sense to my brain, but the greatest thing about those words was how they went deep down inside of me and I felt like my insides were alive for the first time ever. Sure I'd been breathing before. I did it since I was born. But when those words went inside of me, it felt like I was breathing better than I ever did before. It seemed like I could see better, colors were brighter, I could see more in things. More mattered. And was it because it of the words, or because it was Grandpa Jacob who said them, or was it because he crossed his arms and gave me the right hand, the better hand? I think all that stuff was good. But the real change was God. It wasn't really an old grandpa who crossed his arms. Really God crossed His arms and reached out to me with a better blessing than I was supposed to get. God gave me better than I ever should have had.
This is my guess about a great little story from the Bible. Grandpa is Jacob who tricked Esau, tricked his dad, and wrestled with God. Dad is Joseph who got a coat from his dad and was sold by his brothers. The kids are Manasseh, the oldest, and Ephraim, the youngest. But God and Jesus and you are in this story too. Over and over in the Bible, God put in stories to show what He is like and what he is going to do in Jesus. I think this is one of them. In this story God is like Jacob giving the blessing and speaking what will happen in your life. Jesus is the big brother. He is the first born of all the people ever made or ever born. And Jesus is the one who should get all of the greatest best stuff ever. You are the little brother, and you could maybe have the stuff that's left over after the big brother gets what he wants.
But God crossed His arms.
God reached out to you. God reaches out to you. And gives you the best blessing. He gives you the great things that only Jesus should really have. You get to have blessing, healing, power, wholeness, vision, peace, and fill-up-your-body life.

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