When the report was heard in Pharaoh’s house, “Joseph’s brothers have come,” Pharaoh and his servants were pleased. Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: load your animals and go back to the land of Canaan. Take your father and your households and come to me, so that I may give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you may enjoy the fat of the land.’ You are further charged to say, ‘Do this: take wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. Give no thought to your possessions, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.'”
The sons of Israel did so. Joseph gave them wagons according to the instruction of Pharaoh, and he gave them provisions for the journey. To each one of them he gave a set of garments; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five sets of garments. To his father he sent the following: ten donkeys loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, bread, and provision for his father on the journey. Then he sent his brothers on their way, and as they were leaving he said to them, “Do not quarrel along the way.”
So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. And they told him, “Joseph is still alive! He is even ruler over all the land of Egypt.” He was stunned; he could not believe them. But when they told him all the words of Joseph that he had said to them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. Israel said, “Enough! My son Joseph is still alive. I must go and see him before I die.” (Genesis 45:16–28)
Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery and they told their father (Israel) that Joseph had died. But now, after years and years, decades and decades, Israel is getting the news that Joseph is very much alive. Of course, after years and years, decades and decades, Israel is slow to accept the word of his sons . . . but then it hits him and his spirit is revived. “Enough!,” he interrupts. “Enough! My son Joseph is still alive. I must go and see him before I die” (v. 28).
At its core, this is a story of longing: longing for family, longing to be reconnected, longing for life together. It’s not unlike our own story now. We too have our own longings: for normalcy, for togetherness, for our community to be made well. So I imagine that when everything settles down and when our doors swing open, we will have our own longings met, just like Israel.
- We continue to remain safe and secure. Should you get sick, please let us know so that we can care for you.
- We have worked with our live-streaming service provider (who were totally unprepared to handle the overwhelming use of their services by so many congregations in the area this past Sunday). They have told us that they are working to makes sure that the same issues do not arise this upcoming weekend and beyond.
- We have some foodstuffs in the office to hand out should know of people who are in need or if you yourself have need of it.
- While there is no immediate need for assistance, please pray for those in our community in the deepest need and if you hear of community needs, please let us know by calling the office.
- You may want to utilize the Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for devotional reading – you can access the resource here: https://www.presbyterianmission.org/yearbook/
Thank you for your ongoing thoughts and prayers. Stay safe and may God’s peace be with you all. -rc