Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Morning Psalm: 119:97-120 | Evening Psalms: 81, 82
Genesis 45:16-28 | 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 | Mark 6:13-29
God’s reconciliation is on the move! It’s time to celebrate…just as it was in ancient Egypt (Genesis 45:16-28). The arrival of Joseph’s brothers in Egypt has been made public, and Pharaoh and all his servants are thrilled. Pharaoh gives orders for the brothers to take food and riches back to Jacob in Canaan, along with an invitation to escape the famine in Canaan and move to Egypt. 
Better still is the reconciliation between Joseph and his brothers. All the gifts are just icing on the cake. Their hearts are full of joy and there is even some good-natured ribbing between them: “Don’t quarrel along the way!” Joseph says as they are leaving.
In a festive mood, the brothers arrive home and tell their father Jacob the news that Joseph is alive and is the ruler of all Egypt! But Jacob’s heart turns numb, and his spirits sink. Did all the pain and sorrows of years past tear through Jacob’s heart in that moment? How much inner turmoil did he experience before he could forgive his sons? But “when they told him all the words of Joseph” Jacob’s spirit revives, and he is reconciled to his family and consents to return to Egypt with them.
In this time of preparation for Jesus’ arrival, are there people we need to be reconciled with? Are we wrestling with pain or doubts or fears? Like Joseph, Jesus opens the door to healing and reconciliation and brings us rich gifts. Like Jacob, our hearts will be revived when we hear and receive the words of the Son. Neither the past nor pain nor deep grief nor momentary disbelief can disqualify Jacob–or us–from God’s blessings and God’s plans. 
O God, You entered the pain of humankind in Christ Jesus, in whom You reconciled the world to Yourself: Bend our wills, we pray, to rely on Your reconciling presence in families, communities, churches and nations.  Build our courage to address broken relationships; deepen our capacity to listen, repent, and forgive; and form us in the ministry of reconciliation You have entrusted to us, that others may hear Your appeal to be reconciled with God and neighbor through the cross and resurrection of our savior Jesus Christ. Amen. (Adapted from a prayer by Titus Pressler)


Peg Bowman
MDiv Student
Carnegie, PA


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