Greetings Blogland Readers,
I have a pot of hot tea ready. Anyone for a scone today? In this blog, you’ll discover a well-preserved scone, originating back to the days of the Biblical patriarch, Jacob!
This morning, I was reading about Jacob and his inspired dream of angels in an unexpected place, as recorded in Genesis 28:12-22. Perhaps you too, like Jacob, have had an unexpected visitation from God in a most unexpected place?
To set the scene: when Jacob was younger, he bought his older brother’s birthright. Esau had carelessly sold it to him for a mere bowl of soup. Later, having now received the birthright blessing from his aged father (Isaac), Jacob is on his way from his home in Beersheba, fleeing from the wrath of his brother, Esau, who now wants the birthright back. Jacob is on a 450 mile trek to relatives in Haran for safety. He has a long way to go.
About 60 miles from home, and 10 miles north of Jerusalem, the lonely Jacob beds down for the night in hard circumstances. Very hard, since he used a stone for his pillow, never knowing what an uproar of mystery, intrigue and kingly conflict that
common stone would bring to England and Scotland thousands of years later.
Those thousands of years later, I personally visited Westminster Abbey in London to view the “Stone of Scone” housed in the Coronation Chair. This revered stone, also called Jacob’s Pillow, is said to have been the very stone Jacob anointed after his dream of angels and visitation from God. The famous stone was also said to have later become the pedestal for the Ark of the Covenant in Solomon’s temple.
Finally, according to legend, the ancient stone was brought to Scotland via Spain and Ireland by exiled Jews.
Until 1296 A.D. it remained in Scone Palace, Scotland, where Scottish monarchs had always been crowned while seated on it. At that time, the English King Edward I annexed Scotland, taking also the “Stone of Scone – Jacob’s Pillow.” And from that time on, all British monarchs have been crowned with the venerated stone protected in a compartment under the seat of the gilded Coronation Chair.
Ever since, the Scots have been demanding their precious stone back, saying it was the heart of their sovereignty. However, their patience finally wore thin. On Christmas Day of 1950, they stole it! Like Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard, the Coronation Chair was woefully bare! Amazing! Unbelievable!
Its disappearance sparked one of the most intensive hunts in Scotland Yard’s history. How could that massive stone, tightly wedged in the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey, be spirited away without detection? No clues were found. (Surely, Robert Burns would have written a gallant poem about it.)
An anonymous tip came to the rescue. In the ruins of an ancient abbey in Forfarshire, Scotland, the best sleuths advanced to the abbey’s high altar in the Scottish mist. The legendary Jacob’s Pillow, (Stone of Scone) lay there, draped with a Scottish flag.
Two years later in 1953, the present Queen Elizabeth II was crowned, properly seated with the elusive 336-pound Stone of Scone. (That’s a big scone!)
But, hark! With a 21-gun salute, Queen Elizabeth returned the Stone to Scotland in 1996, with bagpipes a-blowing. Oh, what Jacob started!
Now, back to Genesis and angels. Sleeping on that stone, Jacob dreamed the famous “Jacob’s Ladder” dream, where he saw a ladder stretching from earth to Heaven, with “the angels of God ascending and descending on it.”
“And…the Lord stood above it and said: ‘I am The Lord God of Abraham thy father, and The God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;… (Genesis 28: 12-13.) Behold, I am with thee and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest…’” (Genesis 28:15.)
Jacob was in awe and was stunned with surprise when he awoke, saying, “Surely The Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.” And, “….this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of Heaven.” (Genesis 28: 16-17) So great was the visitation of God’s presence in such harsh and stressful surroundings, it transformed Jacob’s next day into glory!
What a night! And, confident that God was with him always, Jacob set up the stone pillow as a pillar, anointed it with oil, and called that place “Bethel,” meaning: “House of God.” What an encouragement to the rest of God’s children! No place is barred from His all-powerful Divine presence.
I recall such a scene of angelic help in time of great need. My son, Kevin, and I had been to a meeting with World Bible Publishers in Iowa Falls, Iowa. It was in the depths of winter. Black ice and a pitch-black stormy night would face us on the 247-mile drive back to Kansas City. I was to speak at a ladies conference the next morning, so it was essential to reach the airport that night to catch the early flight back to Tulsa.
Unfortunately, Kevin lost his night-driving glasses. At 9:00 pm after a fruitless search, we drove cautiously to the last light at the edge of town.
No moon or stars were visible. Our headlights could not penetrate the dense blackness and blizzard ahead. Should we go or stay? As we prayed for wisdom, a verse of Scripture came to me: “I will guide thee with mine eye.” (Psalm 32:8) Confidence in God’s presence to guide us safely flooded me, and Kevin agreed. He inched carefully onto the highway.
Suddenly, a huge ball of light, as wide as the road, appeared out of nowhere, lighting our way. In the center stood a large figure with arms outstretched. We could hardly believe our eyes, asking each other, “What do you see?!” Indeed, we both saw the same miracle and were amazed.
For over 200 miles, all the way to Kansas City, the great light guided our way. There wasn’t another vehicle out on that solitary highway. As we approached Kansas City, the ball of light lifted and disappeared over our car, vanishing back into the darkness.
Hebrews 1:14 says angels are ministering spirits sent to minister to the heirs of salvation. Praise God for such Divine help.
Was the figure lighting our way an angel of God – one of those strong, gentle helpers of God’s children?
So I leave you, dear friends with this Christian Mother Goose rhyme to encourage us all:
Cheerio for now – and pass the scones, please!
Christian Mother Goose®