Joseph survives the abyss of slavery. In fact, incomprehensibly, he not only survives, he thrives—becoming the ruler over all of Pharaoh’s possessions, even lord over the entire land of Egypt. Joseph’s rise within an oppressive land is hardly cavalier. Each step is a test of his faith and fortitude. Today’s psalm reminds us of the story. It begins in brutality. His feet lacerated with chains, his neck choked by a collar of iron, Joseph enters Egypt in shackles.

Purchased by Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh’s guard, Joseph quickly proves his worth. He becomes Potiphar’s personal assistant, in charge of the entire household. Potiphar’s wife takes notice and tries to seduce him. When rebuffed for the final time, she accuses Joseph, who is sent to prison. Once more, Joseph’s forbearance prevails. Placed in charge of the prison, he interprets a dream for Pharaoh’s cupbearer on the promise that he will be remembered favorably to Pharaoh. When the cupbearer is freed, Joseph is forgotten. For two more years, he remains falsely imprisoned. Only when Pharaoh has some dreams of his own does the cupbearer remember Joseph. Joseph is brought to Pharaoh, where once more he demonstrates his value—he interprets the dreams that reveal how to survive an upcoming famine and is placed in charge of Pharaoh’s house, ruler of all the land.

Today’s psalm is a historical one. It retells the story of God’s faithfulness, reminding the Jewish people that God is true to God’s covenant even when all looks hopeless. Joseph is faithful as well. He does not let slavery crush his spirit; he does not succumb to seduction’s temptations; he does not slip into paralyzing despair even when imprisoned, disgraced, and forgotten. God will not abandon God’s people. Liberation is on the horizon. Our invitation is to stay true to our faith, persevere, and hope.

You have been faithful before, God; you will be faithful again. Keep our hope alive. Amen.

Rece las Escrituras usando Leccionario en Audio
Leer Matthew 14:22-33

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Leccionario Semanal
August 3–9, 2020
Resumen de la Escritura

The strange dynamics in the history of Abraham’s family continue in Genesis. This week his great-grandson Joseph is sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. God will ultimately use this for good, as we read in Psalm 105, but in Joseph’s time there clearly is significant dysfunction. Perhaps the story brings encouragement to those of us who also have challenging family dynamics. Paul emphasizes in Romans that every person is welcome to call on the name of the Lord and be saved, but it falls to us to offer them the good news. How can they believe if they never hear? In the Gospel reading, Peter learns a valuable lesson about trust. He initially shows great faith, but he falters when he allows himself to be distracted by the waves.

Preguntas para la reflexión

Read Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28. In the face of cruelty, how do you continue to believe in God’s dream of unity for us all?
Read Psalm 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b. When has a glimpse of God absorbed your pain?
Read Romans 10:5-15. When have you witnessed Christian violence against persons of other faiths? How does your faith compel you to proclaim God’s love for all—“no exceptions”? What does this look like for you?
Read Matthew 14:22-33. When have you struggled to trust Jesus through life’s trials? How has Jesus revealed his presence and companionship anyway?

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