Showing posts from August, 2014

Reflections on the text – Genesis 37 – Joseph, Part I

Read the text here:  Genesis 37 Read the Gospel here:  Matthew 16:21-28 In the Pits We have finally come to the final story in Genesis of Joseph.   This story will leave the people of Israel – the descendants of Abraham and Sarah in Egypt at the end and get us ready for the stories in Exodus.   But for now, let us remember that way back at the beginning of the cycles, in chapter 12, God spoke to Abraham and gave him a promise: 1. You will be a great nation, your descendants will be as numerous as the stars (repeated in chapter 16); 2. I will be with you and will bless you unconditionally; 3. All of this so that you and your descendants might be a blessing to others.   Then we saw how the stories that followed focused on and worked through this promise.   The stories of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Ishmael and Isaac all centered around the 1 st part of the promise, securing an heir to carry on the promise.   The Jacob, Esau, Rebekah, Laban, Leah and Rachel stories all focused on b

Reflections on the text: Genesis 33:1-11

Please note - I am replacing the Lectionary text appointed for Proper 14 with this text. This text is the climax of the narrative we have been hearing for the previous 3 weeks.  I will say that I think it odd that this text was not included in the series of texts appointed this summer.  Leaving the story and jumping to the Joseph cycle over this climactic story is kind of like following Captain Ahab on his quest for Moby Dick and then jumping to a new story just about the time that they lower the whaling boats.  So, here is the climax of the story:  Genesis 33:1-11 Confrontation! As morning breaks Jacob moves from his campsite and there he sees his brother approaching with 400 (armed?) men.   After the experiences of the previous night his fear and foreboding seems to have been replaced with a sense of inevitability.   He spent the night wrestling with an unknown and unknowable assailant and in the morning he has determined that in this assailant he has experienced and come face

Reflections on the text – Genesis 32:22-31

Read the text here:  Genesis 32:3-31 Who Are You? When we left off the story last week, Jacob had finally been able to marry Rachel after working for his Uncle Laban for 14 years.   He now has two wives – the sisters Leah and Rachel who have born him 7 sons and a daughter; and 2 female slaves who have born him 4 sons – that is 11 sons and a daughter (a 12 th son, Benjamin, is still to be born).   But after all of this time Jacob is getting tired of working for his manipulative and exploitative uncle and decides it is time to return to his own home.   There is some further trickery, and angry confrontation with Uncle Laban and a final reconciliation with him.   But he no sooner bids Laban farewell then he receives truly terrifying news: Esau is on the march north to meet him, and he is bringing 400 (armed?) men.   When we last saw Esau it was right after his twin brother and mother had conspired to successfully deceive and betray their father Isaac, steal the blessing and he