Sibling rivalry, intrigue, death threats, bankruptcy, theft, deception, greed, plotting and scheming, nobility and generosity, sacrifice and joy: it could be the latest television lineup of reality shows or television dramas – or it could be scripture. We find all of these things – and more – throughout the books of the Bible and the stories told over and over again in those books. And don’t forget to throw in healthy doses of romance, fear, trust and love.
Over these last several weeks we have been reading of the family of Abraham and Sarah, down through the generations as told in Genesis. The story continues this week with the introduction of Joseph, Jacob’s youngest son. Smart, beautiful, much loved and pampered by his parents – and, it would seem, more than a little spoiled – all of which made his older brothers less than happy. How the story unfolds gives us an insight not only into this family, but into the universality of human existence, with all its graces and problems. You can read this Sunday’s portion in Genesis, Chapter 37.
There are many characters in this story – where might you find yourself in the lineup? Beleaguered father? Older brothers, worn with work and perhaps a bit resentful? Younger brother? None of the above? It is an interesting way to explore scripture, and always offers something new, and to ask the next questions: How might we meet these characters in our lives today; and what might God be calling us to do or to become in our own life situations? What is old becomes new, what was past can inform the future – and a good story is often hard to resist.
Let us pray:
Grant to us, Lord, we pray, the spirit to think and do always those things that are right, that we, who cannot exist without you, may by you be enabled to live according to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Peace and blessing,