Daily Worship

Something’s Cooking

Rhona Cathcart July 16, 2017 0 2
Image credit: James Cathcart

Genesis 25: 29-34

29 Once when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was famished. 30 Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stuff, for I am famished!” (Therefore he was called Edom.) 31 Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.” 32 Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” 33 Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank, and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Have you ever noticed that at a summer barbecue it is surprisingly easy to eat your own body weight in meat? Or if you’re a vegetarian, maybe a bushel load of corn on the cob, charcoaled peppers, or baked potatoes? There’s something about the smell of the grill; the sizzle of butter; the glow of the coals; the chill of beer, wine or juice; the tang of sauces and dressings; the flaming gooeyness of marshmallows; which combine with the chemistry of sun and breeze and the company of others, to really pique the appetite. 

Maybe when Esau smelled Jacob’s stew, his hunger was all that mattered. In that instant, he was all appetite. The long game - his birthright, or inheritance - was the last thing on his mind. He was the eldest, the strongest, confident he would get what was his when the time came. For now, his hunger was all-consuming, and it was his brother - his quiet, home-loving, brother’s duty to feed him. And so in an instant, his birthright slipped into his brother’s hands - his quiet, home-loving, oh-so-clever brother.



You give us…everything

Life, love, strength, hope, light, 

family, faith.

Why is it that sometimes we are prepared to throw it all away?

And, for what?

A moment of satisfaction, of sensation, 

of power, or pleasure.


Forgive us, for the times when we treat our relationships or our faith, 

as if they were less important than our hunger or our need, 

as if our actions are somehow free of consequences.

Or when we assume our place will always be first at the table. 


When the smell and taste of selfishness and self-indulgence are strong, 

sharpen our awareness of those around us, 

that we might step back and allow them to eat first

Not because we are trying to take advantage of them, 

or to boost our own inheritance by gaining brownie points from you,

but because we want them to be fed.