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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

Epiphanies: Stairway to Heaven

Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. And he dreamed that there was a stairway set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And the Lord stood beside him and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring, and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land, for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” ~ Genesis 28:10-17

We know the song "Jacob's Ladder," although "Stairway to Heaven" seems to be a little closer to the image.

It's quite a dream, Jacob has: angels ascending and descending this magnificent stairway that goes into the heavens. It does seem like the most obvious kind of epiphany: a clear perception of the divine.

And when the dream is over, Jacob doesn't let go of it. He doesn't say God was in this place.

He says that God IS in this place.

His epiphany doesn't end, and from this moment forward, Jacob will be different than he was before.

Encountering the divine changes us, and should leave us knowing that the divine remains with us - whether that encounter was one as grand as Jacob's dream, or as small and ordinary as all the ways God comes to us each and every day.

Let me not forget your presence, Lord, even after the the initial excitement of our encounter fades away. Amen

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