The theological lessons associated with the eighth Sunday After Pentecost are so plentiful, they defy facile assignment to a few over-arching themes. Accordingly, I offer a “grab bag” of a half-dozen heterogeneous lessons among the many in the lections recommended for this Sunday. And yes, the reference to a “grab bag” is intended to offer the attentive among us a pun.

Some will note that these lessons begin with Genesis accounts of vignettes in the life of the well-known “grabber” himself — the would-be birthright usurper, Jacob. Some will remember that Jacob’s name in Biblical Hebrew is “Ya’akov” meaning one who grabs the heel or who usurps, which we might loosely render in today’s English as “grabber.”