Jacob was about to meet his brother Esau for the first time in years. He was dreading the meeting.

This was the brother Jacob had cheated out of his birthright and blessing. Jacob was bracing himself for a frosty – if not furious – reception.

What actually happened when they met? The account in Genesis 33 tells us that Jacob tried to offer Esau gifts, but instead Esau ran up to meet Jacob and embraced him in a bear hug (indeed Esau was a huge bear of a man). Together the brothers wept.

Overwhelmed by his brother’s forgiving reception, Jacob said to Esau, “To see your face is like seeing the face of God” (verse 10).

God was at work in the lives of these brothers and He’s at work in our lives today. As we look around us, what opportunities can we take to offer grace-filled encounters, of love, goodness and kindness; of joy, peace and patience; of faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – to let people see God’s face in our lives today?

Richard Bryce