SERMON TITLE: “Developing Relational Strength for Life’s Challenges”
SERMON TEXT: Genesis 33:1-17
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: January 19, 2020, at First UMC
Every year, the United Methodist Church claims the Sunday before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as Human Relations Day. This is a time when we think about how we treat other human beings in our society, and we collect a special offering for some United Methodist ministries that advance those relationships. Hopefully, like Jesus, we remember to care about the plight of the poor and the underprivileged—not just on this weekend, but all throughout the year.
Of course, now that we’re slightly past mid-January, we’re also approaching that other human relations holiday. The pink and red heart-shaped decorations and the increasing displays of Valentine’s candy and cards in the stores remind us of the importance of many key relationships in our lives.
Whether we’re talking about spouses, lovers, friends, neighbors, classmates, co-workers, siblings, parents, children, teachers, doctors, sports teammates, church family, or the people who live in the inner city or in another country—human relations are vital to our well-being. Social relationships are so central to our humanity that we can hardly imagine surviving without them.
As we move into the year ahead, we know that we’re going to face many opportunities and difficulties, and we’ll depend a lot on other people to help us make the best of them. That’s why I invite you this morning to reflect with me on the Genesis story of Jacob and Esau. Let’s see how the biblical account of these two brothers can guide us in developing relational strength for life’s challenges.