Family. Scripture, reflection and prayer.
Genesis 45:4-15 "Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest.
God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay. You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children's children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. I will provide for you there—since there are five more years of famine to come—so that you and your household, and all that you have, will not come to poverty.’ And now your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my own mouth that speaks to you. You must tell my father how greatly I am honored in Egypt, and all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.” Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, while Benjamin wept upon his neck. And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him."
Reflection. Family is important. Joseph's brothers had become extremely jealous of him, after he boasted that they would serve him, and sold him into slavery. In Egypt, after interpreting the Pharoah's dreams, he rose to prominence in the land. Owing to his preparations Egypt was the only place in the area to have food during a great famine. The famine had so far lasted 2 years and his brothers came down to Egypt seeking help. Years have passed since the selling into slavery episode and his brothers do not recognise him. This is the moment of revelation. This is the family moment. This is the moment when we see that God has been working good out of a really awful situation, out of a complete mess. There has been boasting, betrayal and famine. Yet, in all this God has been active, "God sent me before you to preserve life."
What a great story. What can it say to us today? Do we look back at events in our own life and then notice that God had been at work even and especially when we haven't noticed His hand on us? Sometimes seeing the work of the Holy Spirit is easy to recognise. Sometimes we only notice Jesus's involvement when things come good in a supernatural way; when we know that the outcome was just not humanly possible.
That is Joseph's experience.
God's involvement led to a reunion and to life. When God is involved through Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit there is always new life!
Prayer. Thank you Lord for always being at work. Thank you that you don't stop working when we don't notice. Help us to see you more clearly. In Jesus's name. Amen.