Advent 2010

Joseph pt 1

Read Genesis 37:12-36

The old sin of Cain repeats itself here. Cain killed his brother Abel because Abel pleased the Lord. Joseph’s brothers want to kill him because he has their father’s favor. If it were not for the independent interventions of Ruben and Judah, they would have done it. Instead, he is sold into slavery.

Joseph’s journey begins in honor but ends in exile. Unlike Jacob who began as the second son and the exile, Joseph begins life as the honored son and becomes the exile. His life echoes Abraham’s more than it does Jacob’s. The Genesis narrative is full of repeated patterns like this – the same or similar events occurring over and over. God used these repeating motifs to create a continuity of human experience.

Our modern individualistic society tells you that your experiences are unique, that there is no one like you. In reality, the human experience is all connected. We have very similar experiences, and have been doing so for millennia.

This is good news because you do not need some kind of special never-before-seen kind of grace. The grace that was sufficient for Abraham is sufficient for you as well.


Thank you, God, for your eternal, never-changing grace. Thank you that we human beings do not catch you by surprise. May my life be changed by your grace.


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