August 6, 2023

A37: The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A (2023)

Chris Burton

Dr. Chris Burton, Director of the Leadership Institute at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, operator of an antiracism consulting firm, Di Baddist Consulting, and co-host of the podcast CrossStreets, begins his sermon, “No Letting Go” from Genesis 32:22-31 by discussing Wrestlemania 30. He says, “Wrestling often uses stories to build up interest in upcoming matches and I especially love the stories of an underdog.” The wrestler who won Wrestlemania 30 was the underdog. In fact, those in charge of WWE did not want him to win. However, the crowd got behind him and he inspired a movement. In today’s passage, there is a wrestling match with a backstory and underdog. Jacob wrestles with a man all night. The man strikes Jacob’s hip, and yet Jacob does not give up. Jacob goes away from the fight with a limp and a blessing. Burton encourages us to approach challenges in our lives in the same way. He says, “Friends, it is time to wrestle.”

Manuscript available: click HERE