Today was a Communion Service; the 3rd of the year 2018. Our resident pastor and father, Pastor Daniel Nii Tackie gave the sermon for the day, reflecting on the topic, “Encountering God”. The Bible reading for the day was done by Prof. Duku and the text for consideration was Genesis 28: 10 – 22.
Pastor Tackie begun by giving the back story of Jacob and what had led him to this present state. Having thwarted both his father Isaac and his elder bother Esau for the Abrahamic blessings that weren’t his, Jacob lived a life of fear knowing what he had done. A paradox if you may; a blessed man living in fear. This fear set the tone for his flight to his uncle’s abode in Haran.
Jacob found himself weary from the long journey and gave in to the natural instinct to lay down for a while in an isolated place called Luz. It is in this moment of rest that he dreamt and seemingly had an encounter with God. Our fear and dire situations are not enough to keep us from God; in the still moments when hope has run its course we are encouraged that He still reaches out to us.
A brief description of Jacob’s dream: he saw the open heavens with a stairway/ladder leading up to it; angels were ascending and descending on it and above that stairway/ladder stood the Lord (Genesis 28: 12, 13).
The image of the Lord was a reassurance of the Lord’s abiding presence with Jacob. The Lord is with us wherever we are, it really does not matter where but that we make ourselves availing and accommodating. The stairway/ladder served as a reminder of the connection God had with Jacob and here also we are reminded that we are never too far gone and that we have nothing to fear. The ascent and descent of the angels was a demonstration of the requests and answers of Jacob and the ready service of angels at his disposal. A standing God in Jacob’s dream was a timely reminder that God is forever poised to action on behalf of His people according to His Word.
A startled Jacob awoke from his sleep and affirmed that indeed the Lord was with him (Genesis 28: 16). There are times when we limit God to buildings forgetting that we are of Him and that He dwells in us. In Jacob’s dream, the Lord reassures him that, “I am with you and will watch you wherever you go and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” (Genesis 28: 15). God speaks to us individually and wholly as a church and He expects that we believe and hold Him to His word, in whatever situation we find ourselves in.
Pastor Tackie urged us to know God more as that is His utmost desire for us. All avenues (our Bibles, daily devotionals, word ministration by pastors worldwide etc.) have been made available for us to know our God as we encounter Him on a daily basis. It would reflect badly on us if we like Jacob confirm our ignorance by saying that, “Surely, the Lord is in this place and I was not aware of it.”(Genesis 28: 16) God is with us always and we are encouraged to yearn for a closer walk with Him.
An encounter with God elevates us to worship our Lord God. Jacob after receiving this divine revelation was inspired to worship God. An affirmation of this was the pillar He built as a marker for the divine presence of God and the experience thereof he had felt. Jacob went on to name the place Bethel.
Surprisingly, this wasn’t the perfect will of God for Jacob’s life. As a man on the run, he did not understand the will of God in his life and found out the hard way. That notwithstanding, in due time he embraced what the Lord had in store for him. We are encouraged to seek the face of the Lord and by developing a deeper bond with Him, know and understand His will for us. (Ephesians 5: 17).
Finally, Pastor Tackie noted that our walk with God is not based upon feeling but upon faith. Jacob still had his reservations as is seen in Genesis 28:20 – 22. No matter how small our faith is, it is still enough to cause our Lord to carry out His will in our lives. However, we are urged to have our faith increased in our Lord.
Be still and know that our Lord is God. Practice His presence as He gives you the wings of grace to soar above all adversities.
After the delivery of the sermon, the church engaged in a period of intensive prayers. Apostle E. K. Anim gave a brief exposition on the communion before leading the church in taking it (the communion). He invited the new communicants to partake in the Lord’s Supper. After this, the tithes and missions’ offering were collected with the youth leading the congregation in songs of praise. The announcements were duly dispatched and the closing prayer and benediction given by our father, Pastor Daniel Nii Tackie.