February 3-17, 2011 is the Lunar New Year for the Chinese.
It is a 15 days celebration: time of reunion, of rejoicing, of happiness, of fostering closer ties and basically time to make amends. It is a time of peace making, a time to catch up on all the days, months and years away from home. Family members make it a point to make that journey back home, no matter the distance, the traffic congestion nor the costs. It is this time of the year when we put behind our jobs, our businesses, our busy schedules , our differences, our pride and even our grievances with each other.
There is no other time more meaningful than the Chinese New Year reunion meal. To the Malays, it is during Hari Raya and to the Indians, the Deepavali.
What stop you from going home? Dont let anger, hurt, pride, misunderstanding be the excuse. We live to regret when we look back later in life, how much time was wasted because of this silence.
The days, the months and the years that passes by, Rebekah must have waited with a heavy heart as she look out across the pasture for a sign of her beloved son. She must have regretted that she encouraged her son to cheat his elder brother of his blessings. Every meal, every feast, every festival is never the same again for Rebekah. Her beloved son, Jacob became a fugitive, a vagabond fleeing his home in his youth from the wrath of a brother he stole his birthright, a father he misled and the love of his mother.
Jacob longed to return home. Finally, after working for his uncle and marrying his two daughters, Rachel and Leah, Jacob decided it was time to go home and made amends with his brother and see his parents. . Despite making his home with his uncle Laban, it was never the same. He is like many of us. We left home to work, but we yearn to return. He still feel like an outsider. So he finally said to Laban, “Send me on my way so I can go back to my own homeland”.
Jacob’s Homecoming was not so easy. In Gen 32:7, we read that he was fearful and distress, about his going home. In Gen 32:7-20 afraid of the wrath of his brother, so he thought, “I will pacify him with these gifts I am sending on ahead; later, when I see him, perhaps he will receive me.” 21 So Jacob’s gifts went on ahead of him to appease his brother but he himself spent the night in the camp.
In Gen 33: 1-3 Jacob bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother. But when Esau saw him, he ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept. But when Esau refused the gifts that Jacob presented to him, Jacob insisted. “No, please!” said Jacob. “If I have found favor in your eyes, accept this gift from me. For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably.
What a homecoming!