Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church
Worship Focus for August 2
“Dangerous Change”
Rev. Hardy H. Kim, preaching

I am a procrastinator. I often find myself repeatedly putting off tasks, even though I know that I’m going to have to take care of them, eventually. (In fact, I think there’s a car registration renewal that I haven’t gotten around to that I definitely should have done weeks ago.) Usually there’s not really a good reason for the delay, and I just find that I’m struggling to find the motivation.

On the other hand, there are times when I actively avoid a task, or a check in with a health care professional, or a conversation with a friend. In those cases, I’m worried about how much work is going to be involved, or I’m afraid of the bad news I’m going to get, or I know that the person is upset with me and I just don’t want to experience it directly. There are times when we just don’t want to deal with hard realities, we don’t want to take our medicine, or we just can’t face the ways that we’ve hurt others.

We’re going to hear a critical part of the story of Jacob (who we’ve been journeying with in worship for a couple of weeks now)—a time where he was putting off facing a reckoning with his brother, whom he wronged. I hope you’ll join us for this important tale, and to hear what God might be saying to us about the things we’re hesitating about for ourselves.

In hope,

Join us immediately following worship this Sunday for Coffee Hour

After the service is over, log on to our Zoom coffee time at:

Theme for Sunday
“The easiest thing for white Christians to reach for is reconciliation. While I think that’s a laudable goal, if it’s reached for too quickly, I think it’s actually disingenuous. Too often, the formula for white Christians is white apology or lament plus Black forgiveness equals reconciliation. What’s missing in that equation is any conversation about justice and repair. If you’re a white Christian, heading straight for reconciliation is the quickest way to protect the status quo without doing the hard work and without really dealing with the past.”

—Robert Jones (CEO, Public Religion Research Institute), June 26, 2020
Questions for Reflection
  • Has there ever been a time when you’ve put off a really important task or conversation that you knew would be tough? How did putting it off make you feel?
  • What happened when you finally went through with the things you were avoiding?
Genesis 32:22-31
The same night he got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had.

Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then the man said, “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.” The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.
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