Sermons from May 2021
Setting the Stage for Reconciliation
Genesis 42:1-38 We live in a world at war and a nation divided. Sadly, the church has often done more to fuel the flames of the fire than to bring understanding and healing. Where are the peacemakers? Who is willing do the hard work of tearing down the walls of division and create conditions necessary for reconciliation? More importantly, who knows what is required before the process can begin? Given the centuries of hate and hostility, how would you ever be able get a Palestinian and a Jew to sit and talk at the same table? Perhaps Joseph can help us begin the process.
Weeping May Tarry for the Night, but a Shout of Joy Comes in the Morning
Genesis 41:37-52 It’s difficult to imagine how a youth from a despised race (a “Hebrew”) could immediately rise out of a prison cell and be installed as the second in command of the most powerful nation on earth. And yet, this will not be the only time this happens in the Scriptures. Joseph prefigures Moses, Daniel, and ultimately Jesus. And in the broader sense what God intends for all humankind (Psalm 8) redeemed in Christ (Isa 49:7b). You ask, “How can that be?” Come and see.
Exalted at the Proper Time
Genesis 41:1-40 Through many years of ministry I have often wondered why God sets aside some of his most gifted people for extended periods of time. When such times grow in length, it’s easy to question whether we will ever know the joy of using our gifts again, or whether we were ever gifted at all. Our text speaks not only to God’s supreme faithfulness, it also gives insight into the mystery of what God was doing in Joseph, while he was painfully waiting for the proper time. It’s much easier to endure the darkness when we can see the purposeful hand behind the crucible.
Forgotten in your Dreams
Genesis 40:1-23 God never does leave us, but sometimes it seems that he does. What happens to the human soul when our dreams are forgotten in a prison of silence? Our blessed narrator has no fear taking on these questions. And the tale that he weaves will shape Israel with a spirituality that enables her to live in the worst of times. The question for us is whether we are courageous enough to receive it.