Over the past few years we have been seeing what the Bible always knew: that human stories, when seen through the lens of faith, teach us how to live.
The journey of Joseph and his complicated relationship to his brothers will be our focus for this fall season. This is both a common and extraordinary tale: sibling rivalries, dreams of destiny, acts of betrayal, realizations of loss, sudden reversals, acts of kindness, restored peace. And into this whole mix, there is God himself. In fact, like any really good story, there is more going on here then at first meets the eye.
Joseph was a person in process, just as we continue to be. We see him grow up from a despised younger brother to a respected leader, from one presumed dead to the center of life and action. If we pay close enough attention, we might see what perceptive readers have always noticed: that Joseph’s story carries an uncanny resemblance to the story of Jesus himself.
We see here the dream of destiny, and the harsh way such dreams can be “put to death”. But there is a way forward. And that way involves the faithfulness of God, and the brilliance and power of forgiveness.
The story of Joseph is a long and winding tale, fitting for our own experience of life. As we pay attention to what is going on with Joseph we are better able to pay attention to some defining areas in our own personal lives, especially in the area of conflict and forgiveness.