“...I am Esau, your first born... Now sit up and eat of my game, that you may bless me.”
Opening Prayer Led by Group Facilitator
Pray the Psalm together aloud, alternating verses between two sides. When finished, share reflections on the Psalm as a group
1 To you, O Lord, I call; my rock be not deaf to me, lest if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the Pit.
2 Hear the voice of my supplication, as I cry to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary.
3 Take me not off with the wicked, with those who are workers of evil, who speak peace with their neighbors, while mischief is in their hearts.
4 Repay them according to their work, and according to the evil of their deeds; repay them according to the work of their hands; render them their due reward.
5 Because they do not regard the works of the Lord, or the work of his hands, he will break them down and build them up no more.
6 Blessed be the Lord! For he has heard the voice of my supplications.
7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts; so I am helped, and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.
8 The Lord is the strength of his people, he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
9 O save your people, and bless your heritage; be their shepherd, and carry them for ever.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.
Taking the Blessing
1. How did Sarah influence Abraham’s treatment of Ishmael and Isaac? Was it just? How does Rebekah influence Isaac’s treatment of Esau and Jacob? Was it just? How do men relate differently to children than women do? How does a Patriarch “sift” through the different proposals of a wife in relation to offspring?
2. Rebekah’s influence over Jacob undermines Isaac’s authority. Yet God brings good from it. How might this secure you as Patriarch in similar circumstances?
3. Count the number of times someone speaks the words, “my son.” What significance does this phrase carry for you? How frequently have you heard it? How frequently do you say it?
4. Count the number of deceptions of Jacob. What do you observe in their variety? What lessons might be drawn from these Patriarch deceptions?
5. Examine the “blessing.” What is given or bestowed in the Patriarchal blessing? How has blessing been manifested by your father? By you?
6. What are the connections between Cain-Ishmael-Esau? Abel-Isaac-Jacob? Do you notice any parallels between generations of sons in your own family
Choose a resolution for this week from the suggestions below or make your own. Tap on a resolution to email it to yourself:
1. I will schedule a time to visit and to share a meal between just my father and I.
2. I will schedule a conversation with my wife to discuss the legitimate and complementary differences between a father’s and a mother’s relationship with children.
3. I will speak with my wife about any preferential treatment I observe in relation to our children.
4. I will propose and supervise a long-term project that requires a child to initiate, plan, create, and produce something on his/her own for the benefit of the family.
5. I will initiate an activity to build teamwork between my sons.
6. I will regularly pray a prayer of blessing over each of my children.
7. I will seek to reconcile with my sibling I believe has deceived, betrayed, or abandoned me.
8. I will invite my sibling/s over for a scheduled meal.
9. I will ask Jesus for the grace to forgive someone who has deceived me, and declare in prayer, “In Jesus’ name, I forgive ____________ for _____________.”
10. I will pray and fast from something this week for the grace of peace between my children.
Discuss with your prayer partner the success/failure of your previous resolution & offer a vocal prayer for one another.