When I think back to when I was considering being baptized, one of my most distinct memories involves my parents. See, I was raised going to church. The story of Jesus was familiar to me, and while I had a lot to learn (still do!), I grew up with parents who had faith. It was a faith that I observed, was taught, and mimicked.
So, when I asked them about being baptized, I got the distinct impression from them that this was not something that they would give me permission to do. Not in the sense that they would not allow me, but in the sense that this decision needed to be MINE, not theirs. It is like they intrinsically knew that if I decided to follow Jesus strictly because of their faith, or simply out of a sense of family expectation, it would not be as real as it would need to be for me to stick with it, or even to really experience it.
That was the first of many special "holy moments" where God was convincing me of Himself in a personal way. Over the course of my life, God has invited me, not just to learn the "faith of my fathers", but to know Him for myself. The story of God delivered generationally through family is helpful and useful, of course. But at some point, God must become MY God. For the story to continue authentically, God Himself needs to win me, not not to my families faith, but to MINE.
As we continue in our 2020 Bible Project (www.southwest.org/2020bibleproject), we are in the book of Genesis, so we are relatively early in the story. But still, generations in the lineage of faith have passed. We have moved from Adam and Eve, to Cain and Abel, to Noah's family, to Abraham and Sarah, to Isaac and Rebekah, to Jacob and his twelve sons, and we are now well into the story of Joseph.
I hope you are enjoying reading about the early fathers and mothers of our faith. There is much to learn.
But today, I want to zoom in on the first of many holy moments when one of these characters, Jacob, was invited by God to make a move that God wants all of us to make: from practicing the faith of his fathers, to a living, active, and personal faith and relationship with God. Up until this instant, Jacob only knew about the God of his fathers Abraham and Isaac. Evidently, God had enough of that. It was time. It was time for Jacob to meet the God of JACOB.
My prayer is that this moment in Jacob's life leads you into the realization that God wants this moment with you in your life. He wants you to move from a generic "faith" inside of a religion that you have inherited from others, into a relationship with Him that is YOURS.
Then, and only then, does the story of God authentically continue and progress in and through you.